Alex Eagle Studio, Lower Ground Floor, 6-10 Lexington Street
London W1F 0LB
The Londoner-turned-LA based artist discusses her upcoming exhibition of etchings that express the connective power of eating together as abstract art.
Food and its consumption has forever been the subject of art and artists, from the cave man’s drawings of the hunt to Dutch still lifes of gleaming apples to Irving Penn’s radical food photography for Vogue.
Pia Pack’s abstract etchings depict meals but are less about what we eat than why. ‘The driver for all my work is to highlight the importance of social connectivity,’ she says.
‘Cooking a shared meal is the inspiration, and the potency is in the variety. Every meal provides different inspiration because of the ever-changing variables of people, location, food and conversation. It’s an infinite and highly enjoyable well of source material.’
Pack’s work starts on and around the table, in the conversations that take place and the emotions that arise. The shift onto canvas abstracts the words and feelings and transforms them into expressive portraits of a moment in time. Using energetic strokes and vibrant colour, the exchanges between people and the connections forged are conjured on the page.
In taking place in the domestic sphere, she is engaging with a traditionally feminine role in her work, yet dismisses this interpretation as somewhat simplistic. ‘Some of the traditional ideas of the feminine such as nurturing and bonding are the centre of my work but I do not consider them inherently feminine. Cooking a meal to be shared by others is an expression of altruism and a symbol of our humanity – male & female.
Pack recently moved from London to Los Angeles, a change that has oiled the wheels of her creativity. ‘I’m very proud to be a Londoner, this city is a hive of social connectivity and where I had the inspiration for the work that I still make’ she says. ‘But LA has the potential to redefine what the future of the art world could be, so to be here at this time is invigorating. I’m a sucker for the American West and the American Dream, broken as it may be.’