70 x 7 The Meal Act XXXIII, Smiths Row, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, 2012
Materials: Table setting for 42 guests, Royal Limoges porcelain plates (Two editions of Ed 150), woven silk table runner (Ed 5 x 210cm). bronze cast olive branch candelabra (Ed 3)
Exhibition history: 2012 Smiths Row, Bury St Edmunds
Courtesy: The Artists
Lucy + Jorge Orta’s site-specific installation in the Smiths Row gallery in Bury St Edmonds draws from the poetic relationship between aspects of East Anglian culture: agriculture, heritage skills, the Fens landscape, foraging and wildlife. The table setting for 42 guests is made up of found objects and artworks created by the artists: a 15 metre silk-jacquard table runner, three bronze candelabra cast from olive trees, and two editions of Royal Limoges porcelain. Complimenting the setting were sets of salvaged blue crockery, glasses of all shapes and sizes and wooden chairs painted blue, donated by the local community and guests attending the meal. The table runner was woven by the last remaining silk weavers in Suffolk, the birthplace of silk weaving in Britain. The colour blue chosen to bridge the compositional elements echoes the ceiling of the eighteenth century former theatre remodelled by Robert Adam, and offers a mirror motif to the open skies so visible across the Fens landscape. The skies of the silk runner are bordered by fragments of the poem “Amazonia” by Mario Petrucci, commissioned by the artists on their return from Amazonia in 2009: “Tug at any one thing in nature and the rest will move". Pollinating bees, flower buds and poetry populate the porcelain dinner service referencing the bountiful yet fragile nature of the changing environment and the web nature.