Tableau Vivant

Collaboration with Penelope Benton and Alex Clapham. Underbelly Arts Festival. Image: Andrew Haining.

The banquet and the still-life are common visual themes in art throughout the ages. Grand feasts of the Baroque era were works of art themselves, activating all the senses and dissolving the boundaries of creative disciplines. Lavish displays in the form of sugar sculptures were significant and popular elements of the banquet. Dishes were designed to entertain the eye, moreso than to be eaten.

Tableau Vivant is a French term, which was a popular form of entertainment before radio, film and television. It has been said the tableau vivant marries art forms of the stage with those of painting or photography. Tableau is also from the French diminutive of “table”. This project was a further exploration into the spectacle and the spectacular around the dining table, through installation, performance, costume and the concept of living sculpture.