26 Flavours

A bountiful harvest

The beginning of autumn has to be one of my favourite times of year.  The air starts to get a little crisper. The landscape is awash with colour as the leave change from shades of green to fiery red, bright yellow and burnt umber before falling from the trees and offering up another sensory pleasure that transports me right back to childhood.  Who doesn’t enjoy walking along a leaf-strewn path, kicking up leaves to be carried off by the wind and hearing the satisfying crunch beneath their feet?

From tiny acorns, great oak trees grow…

When I first got involved in the 26 Flavours project, I could never have imagined how it would take off.  It seems as though Cornwall really has an appetite for the exhibition – it’s currently the Eden Project as part of their Harvest Festival.  After seeing, smelling and tasting what’s on offer there, perhaps the exhibition will inspire other writers and designers to create something to celebrate their favourite flavour…

Each viewing of the 26 Flavours exhibition has felt different in terms of place, space and atmosphere.  For me, it’s the first time that anything I’ve written has been so public, so open to interpretation.  As writers, we don’t often get the opportunity to exhibit our work in such a physical sense.  While the internet has enabled our words to be seen by a potential audience of millions all over the world, there’s something quite special about seeing your carefully chosen words in  a more  tangible form.

The experience has been both satisfying revelatory, leading me to ponder the question ‘what next?’

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More flavours

People are certainly developing a taste for the 26 Flavours exhibition.  After its success at Trebah, it went on to appear at the Poly during Falmouth Week (6-14 August) and is due to appear at the Lander Gallery in Truro from 16-30th September.

Which means a lot more people have the chance to see our words and pictures.

As a writer, you don’t often get chance to show off your work in quite the same way as a photographer, or a painter, for example. At the end of my MA course, I have to confess I was a little envious of people on the other creative courses who had week-long exhibitions of their work.  Simply telling people about my novel wasn’t quite the same thing…

So for me, 26F has also been a chance to show people a bit more about what I do, as well as an opportunity to get away from my laptop and work as part of a creative team to develop something totally different.

Me with design partner Eleanor Bell with our finished flavour at the launch

It’s been a fantastic project to take part in, and I have to say a big thank you to the 26F team – Tom Scott, Rob Self-Pierson, Phil Gendell and Daniel Oparison for all the hours they’ve put in to make the project a success).

And there are also plans afoot for the 26 Flavours exhibition to travel further afield, so watch this space for details…

26 Flavours bears delicious fruit

On Friday evening the great and the good gathered at Trebah Garden for the eagerly anticipated 26 Flavours launch.  And what a delightful evening we had.

With mouthwatering food and drink, stunning artwork and a whole host of writers, designers and food producers, this was a combination that really worked (rather like the mini scones topped with Kea plum jam and clotted cream that were quickly snapped up).

John Simmons speaking at the 26 Flavours launch

To top it all off, the piece that my design partner Eleanor Bell and I had created was exhibited in all its glory – I could see it glowing as soon as I walked in to Trebah.  We thought we were only going to be able to exhibit a photograph of the piece. But at the last minute we were told we could go ahead and install it.

Every piece was very different, and I was delighted by the range of creative approaches each of the pairs had taken with their flavour.  It was the type of exhibition that generates discussion; each of the pieces invites you to look a little deeper to try and figure it out.

I know I’ll be back to take a closer look soon.  The exhibition runs to 26th July, so if you’re down Cornwall, take a peek…