1/5 The Living Room; Victoria Sponge
The Gentlemen's House 2021
Brexit has surprised us many. Countless daunting and irrational development that doesn’t seem to add up, especially on the dining table. For a sweet tooth union whose many candied bakes served their people well for longer than history can retell, the reliance list on their neighbours’ supplies for its scarcity is as lengthy. More than half of the UK’s consumption of soft summer fruits is imported. Of which a loyal stockpile is imported from The Netherlands, either from its reliable greenhouses or fertile soil. With the introduction of Brexit, these short-shelf lives berries' journey across the Channel from the lowlands has become complicated. While pre-Brexit custom-free mobility proves effortless and straightforward, the freshness of such summer fruits is now challenged by newly introduced paperwork, trucks filed in confused beelines at Calais and the eventual inflating prices raiding consumers' wallets. It is sadly a sort of self-sabotage and an act to rid of a country’s needs and food culture.
The Gentlemen’s House is an open criticism of the effects of Brexit on food culture. It is also an artistic attempt to illustrate a food-related agenda we consumers are experiencing, paired up with a matching spatial environment as companions. In this series, portrayed as a domestic dwelling, the visuals are captured in the handsome modernistic manor house "Huis van Ravesteyn" in Utrecht. Built by the renowned Dutch railway architect Sybold van Ravesteyn whose portfolio includes numerous rail stations spread over the country, van Ravesteyn completed this house for himself and his family in 1932. The features of this house merged the tail-end Art Nouveau influences of feministic curves with a subtle mix of streamlined clarity of modernism. Warm wooden utilitarian interior seamed by polished steel framework echos trains cabins furnishing. The spatial quality whether in shared or private spaces is ample and welcoming. We intervened in The Gentlemen’s House with an open explorer's mind, by inserting the effects of Brexit while highlighting the articulated features of the house.
Many thanks to Simone Post for her Vlisco Recycled Carpet and Lakenvaas. Huis van Ravesteyn is managed and maintained by Vereniging Hendrick de Keyser.
Art direction & concept: Phyllis Wong
Photography: Pim Top
2/5 The Kitchen; Summer Pudding
3/5 The Study, The Tart
4/5 The Stool, The Tart
5/5 The Shelves, Frozen Blueberries