Loyola exhibit discovers the art in food

From "Ponder Food as Love" exhibit at Loyola.
From “Ponder Food as Love” exhibit at Loyola.

By Kristen Kaczynski

In 1979, two female artists began collaborating together at the Institute of Design in Chicago and are now currently examining psychology through photography, experimenting with the concepts of food, love and the human body.

Barbara Ciurej and Lindsay Lochman created a new art exhibit, currently on display at Loyola University Chicago, called “Ponder Food as Love” as they explore the pleasures, tensions and urgency of nourishment.

Ciurej and Lochman produced a series of photographs featuring the human body as the serving palate for various types of food, investigating the nature of nurturing and the lasting beauty of the aging female body.

Ciurej said cooking was her inspiration with Lochman for this project.

“The project began at an artist’s residency where we had a studio next to the kitchen. While the cook prepared meals each night for the artists, we noticed the energy and sense of nurturing that flowed throughout the kitchen,” Ciurej said.

Ciurej further explained the process they went through while developing this project.

“We became more deliberate about the relationship of the food to the body to express various aspects of how we felt about nurturing, from tenderness and humor to even oppression,” Ciurej said.

Students who have observed the artwork gave their own reaction to this unique form of art.

“When you look around this room almost all of the photography is of fruit and vegetables. The skin on the bodies photographed is so light and transparent, it’s almost as if it’s not there. These pictures provide me with a different way of looking at food which is both erotic and beautiful in its own way,” said Camille Cedeno, 36, a senior biology major.

Another student focused on the nurturing aspect of this exhibit.

“It’s interesting that all of the photographs picture female body parts concentrating on mothers, which makes sense because they are known for giving nutrients to their children, just as food gives nutrients to all people,” said Alexa Vander Hye, 22, a senior social work major.

Ciurej also gave advice to students who are studying the visual arts.

“Leave your computer and keep your smart phone in your pocket. Get out and go to the many art venues within the city and look at real artwork,” Ciurej said.

The exhibit unveiled Thursday and is now open to the public, free of charge for viewing, until Saturday, April 13 in the Fine Arts Annex, located at Loyola University Chicago’s Lake Shore Campus.


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