GOOD ENOUGH TO EAT

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Switch on the television these days and, in between tips on how to decoupage your dog, you can gorge yourself on an endless diet of cookery programmes. From Ready Steady Cook, to Can't Cook, Won't Cook, it seems we just can't get our fill of raspberry coulis. There's even a satellite station dedicated to screening culinary gems. Delia Smith, for example, resplendent in stretch cords and tank-top, can be glimpsed in an early BBC series raving about a revolutionary new cooking method - pureeing!

And it's not just TV - the food bug has spread to theatres and galleries across Britain.

Wait and See (what's for dinner?), at Eastbourne's Towner Art Gallery explores the role of food in people's lives beyond that of mere sustenance. The exhibition focuses on aspects of feasting, fantasy and ritual, as well as the art and culture that has developed around its preparation, presentation and consumption.

Kate Fowle, curator of the display, was struck by the consuming passions which have united artists throughout history. "We've got a whole mixture of work here," she explains, "which is why I've hung a 17th-century still life next door to Martin Parr's British Food Series, which is really contemporary."

As well as work by artists, the exhibition also includes an intriguing collection of related objects, most notably legendary cookery writer Elizabeth David's bread board. Meanwhile, Chinese artist Anthony Key has prepared a recording entitled "Stir fry with the sound of its own making".

After all, cookery is the new wok'n'roll.

Towner Art Gallery, Old Town, Eastbourne, (01323 417961) to 9 Nov

Siobhan Dolan

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