Wednesday, 11 January 2012

The kingdom of fish and chips

My original idea was to do something that involved local people. I started going to different villages to try and meet local welsh people. On my list was Llanbadarn, Borth, Bow Street,

All these places seemed to have shut down for the winter period, nobody in the streets, cafes and shops closed... However, fish and chip shops remained open. Spending time in these popular places implied meeting local people.

So I started drawing in fish shops,

and collecting items.

I liked the idea of working on such a typical traditional British institution. I heard that it remained a British preference and did not cross borders even when Britain tried exporting it to France, Belgium or Italy. Fish and chips have failed to become an export. Why has is it such a British thing?

Fish and chips are now my main field of research. I have decided to bring the “Fish and chips institution” in the exhibition space. I like the idea of bringing a popular custom that is associated to the working class in a supposedly cultural and elite institution that is the “museum”. For the open studio night -taking place at the end of February, my studio will become the “Fish and Chips Museum”.

Fish and chips seemed to have been left out by historians.

Fish and chips is generally recognized as a great and quintessentially British institution; but it is difficult to persuade people to take it seriously as a subject of historical inquiry. This is partly because of it is presumed to be, for practical purposes, timeless: it has 'always' been there, but it has no 'history' in the sense of transforming itself, affecting people's lives for good or ill in significant ways, or interacting with the self-evidently important concerns of statesmen and diplomats”

John K. Walton “Fish and Chips and the British Working Class, 1870-1940”, p1

Next week I will make posters in screen printing at the school of art.

I am also working on a fake TV program called “The fish and chips review”. A review of the village of Borth and Bow Street, MoMA in Macynlleth, ciment sculptures by Arthur Jones in a garden in Llanbadarn and finally the Chip Box in Aberystwyth.


  1. All right about fish'n chips, but have you ever seem someone eating the famous deeply fried Mars? Co's it's pretty interesting... We're here with Asa, following your footprints in Wales, and we like it..

    Big kiss

  2. Oh no... I didn't think it was possible to invent something like that image here.

    "The dish originated at chip shops in Scotland as a novelty item, but was never mainstream. Since various mass media have reported on the practice since the mid 1990s, in part as a commentary on urban Scotland's notoriously unhealthy diet,[1] the popularity of the dish has spread."

  3. A FISH and chip shop owner will appear in crown court accused of seven hygiene charges relating to a “rat infestation”.
    David Taylor, of The Chip Box 3, in Eastgate, Aberystwyth, has pleaded not guilty to seven charges under the Food Hygiene (Wales) Regulations, including failing to have adequate procedures to control pests and failing to protect against contamination of food, making it unfit for human consumption.