BREAD and flexibility

The BREAD project – a partnership with Ovalhouse and Stockwell Good Neighbours had a false start, as we had to cancel the original date and reschedule.

My memory of  a really good holiday is peppered with moments of having to do yet another email round with my Project Manager, Sabrina, in order to try to reorganize two participant groups, a venue and four artists. It was absolutely crazy in one way, but I also remember this sense that everyone wanted to make it work, so there was a wave of goodwill urging us forwards.   The new project shape meant that less people could do it, and that we didn’t get to try put a project which is intended to be a kind of intensive – four days of baking on the trot. But of course that doesn’t mean that it fails. This kind of work is always responsive, responding to people and places and events, and I think that one of the big questions for participatory artists is what you hang onto for dear life and what you let go of. The new shape brought a new pattern; people’s slightly different availability actually revealed new possibilities, and we discovered that baking together really is a process in which you make and reflect and make and discuss and make and then consume! So we all want to do it again…….


written by participants to welcome the bread as it came out of the oven

Here you are –

Lovely to look at,

Tickling my taste buds


Made by us

And you’ve made it thus far.

And now

We are ready to

Consume you

We mixed you, squeezed you, we kneaded you

And now

We are here to welcome you in our midst


Oh Bread

We thank you


Appearing hot, golden, with that fresh bread smell

Ready to eat

Gratitude & Letters


and letters.



I have decided to ask for a letter for Christmas.  Watching fans being made and written on during our Fanmail workshops was like watching Christmas presents being wrapped and unwrapped. So much was poured into the fans and so much pride was taken in making them as beautiful as possible – to be given away.  Like the process of writing a letter, we didn’t know how each fan would turn out or what it would say, until it had come into being. We learnt things about ourselves in-the-making. Why, for example, do I want to hide this message in the depths of the folds? And why did I choose the largest, shiniest paper for this person’s fanmail?

The letter I want for Christmas doesn’t have to be on a fan, but if I was writing it, (and perhaps I will be) I know the fan would help me. Like using a gift to communicate a feeling, I’ve seen that fans can hold half of the meaning in a non-verbal way. Like walking, one step left, one step right, the fans make their communication with words and image in step with each other, pulling each other along. It’s very effective!

What better gift than a letter, given a bit of help by beauty? What more beautiful than a fan, enriched with very-meant words?  Fanmail’s new, hybrid language has taken flight this year and it’s been both glamorous and gratifying.



Anna Sikorska

Dec 2016