Mealtime, 2008

Art in the Woods, Stillmoreroots Group, Stillmore GA

I think we are starting to realize what is being lost in our fast food culture. Saying “I’m too busy” or “I’m too tired” as an excuse for anything we really want to do in life is pretty standard fare – but I think a dawning realization of having a conscious choice in such matters is upon us.

This year at Art in the Woods, I wanted to focus on how tired I am of being too tired to do things that really matter. Among other projects dealing with this, the largest one, Meal Time, dealt with me making time to bake and set an aesthetically pleasing space for eating. It also dealt with creating this place for the participants to sit and be, to reminisce and enjoy. At each setting are questions I would like people to answer in notebooks. They ask of involvement in the ambiance, preparation, and quality of meals.

We all question how we are losing family cohesion in our culture, and we can point to various suspects – the shift in traditional family roles, the waning influence of the church, and so on. In my view, basic quality time that used to be spent celebrating food has been turned into that substance we must devour before we move onto that next thing that we HAVE to do. I don’t think it’s too late: I think the family meal can still be reclaimed.