Creative: Form and Matter

Annika Walsh

From Head to Dough
Annika Walsh is a transdisciplinary artist who was born in Chuzhou, China and adopted at 11 months of age by her family in Canada. She works with a variety of ingredients, materials, and collaborators to form her conceptual pieces. Her practice ranges from exploration of cultural identity to participatory food performances, and everything in between. Striving to blur the lines and push the boundaries, Annika makes a habit of traversing many disciplines, including sculptural installation, performance, and media.

From Head to Dough (Dec. 2020)

“From Head to Dough” is a process-oriented work. Starting with a simple dumpling dough, I rolled it out into a large oval, then cut it into the shape of Anhui Province. I then stamped one of my Chinese names, 生, on the location of Chuzhou, the city I was born in. I made some score lines where the Yangtze river runs through the province and put tinfoil underneath to mould mountain ranges. Anhui is known for their mountain topography; for me, it was important to represent the terrain, because I resonate so much with this type of landscape in the Canadian Rockies. Then I let the dough dry for three days on my kitchen island, where it cracked into many uncontrollable pieces, one being the line of the Yangtze River.

“Form” was the word prompt I used to create this project. By allowing the dough to take on its own natural form, after some initial manipulation at the beginning, I was able to highlight how the materiality of the dough interacts with elements such as heat, air, and time. When I decided it was done drying, I flipped it over attached supports—using broken chopsticks—to piece some of the pieces back together and create three larger segments. I then hung each segment separately onto the wall, as I would a canvas. I then garnished it with a bit of gesso and gochujang (red chili paste). The visual simplicity makes of this piece allows viewers to concentrate more on the individual ingredients.



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Food Studies: Matter, Meaning, Movement Copyright © 2022 by Annika Walsh is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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