Catherine Smith and I had a wonderful day at the Wellcome Collection in London which proved to me - as if I didn't know - that a day away from my desk (and the computer) feeds my writing appetite.
So it was appropriate that the exhibits that struck me particularly were all about our relationship with food. It's hard to miss John Isaac's life-size I CAN'T HELP THE WAY I FEEL:
He says of his figure that he wanted to show how our physical self-image can be a metaphor of the way we're governed by our emotional landscape. It really resonated with me - I've had days when I've felt like the figure above and had a shock to see someone normal looking back at me from the mirror. Also days when I'm so knackered, I feel like a tiny stunted figure too. Interesting to think about how the outside rarely reflects the inside though.
In her piece, EAT 22, Ellie Harrison recorded everything she ate for a whole year:
Not one morsel passed her lips unless she was photographed with it. As well as the book, she'd recorded the images in a non-stop slideshow which felt as if you were hallucinating to watch it. It was like one of those children's flicker books, seeing food being endlessly consumed in a variety of different settings.
And I remember this kind of portion control plate - not that we ever had one, although it brought back horrible memories of sitting in front of really terrible food and having to eat it all up 'because of the starving children'. I could never understand how it helped them, but it still feels wrong to leave food on my plate somehow. Am I the only one?
And just to show how far removed we seem to be from the ability to manage our own hunger and nutritional needs, here are only a few of the diet books on display at the exhibition ...
More pictures of shoes for bound feet, sex aids, and portable false eyes from the Collection coming soon...