Don't Eat Off the Floor

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Don't Eat Off the Floor is a series of 6 ceramic 'plates' made for the exhibition Just Desserts; the fourth iteration of The Plate Show exhibition, first held as Bookplates at Electric Shadows Bookstore in 2015. The original concept was art on plates produced by a group of Canberra artists that regularly meet and eat together. This fourth exhibition was curated by Michele England, Nicci Haynes and Caren Florance, and similarly includes contemporary art responses by local artists to contemporary life, through the medium of the plate.

Don't Eat Off the Floor reflects on heightened notions of cleanliness, dirt, the sanitised and the abject circulating in contemporary global society as a result of COVID-19. In this series of works the floor becomes the site for visual inspiration and consumption, and draws upon the improvised glyphs or floormarks designed to create distance and safety that have emerged in the wake of the pandemic. Stepping away from the conventional dinner plate, the artwork comprises glazed earthenware tile fragments. Hence, the viewer is invited to consider the floor as the plate during a period of contemporary life when there are density limits, restrictions on eating out, and increased cooking at home due to the demands of isolating and limitations on movement. The work plays on the idea that through our excesses, refuse and 'ruin' we as a global society are reaping our 'just desserts'. The representation of the floor, as a suite of ceramic scraps, reveals a correspondence with the 'unswept room' mosaics of ancient Rome. The work continues the artists exploration of contemporary traces and mark-making activities and a focus on the leftovers of everyday life.

The artists in Just Desserts are: Alyssa Bagley, Byrd, Fiona Edge, Michele England, Kirsten Farrell, Caren Florance, UK Frederick, Michelle Hallinan, Katie Hayne, Nicci Haynes, Stephanie Jones, Peter McLean, Jacqui Malins, Johanna Rendle-Short, Sarah Rice, Joanne Searle, Megan Watson.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCanberra
PublisherM16 Gallery
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


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