Collaborative Sandwich Making

"I like making food for other people and I like eating with other people. At the start of a project a often try to have everyone involved come round mine for tea, but that's not always possible, so then we do this instead:

  • Bring a load of sliced bread (white, brown, gluten free) and fillings (to suit all dietary requirement of the group)

  • Pair up everyone in the group

  • Invite them to discuss their "perfect sandwich in their pairs

  • Ask the pair to prepare their partners "perfect" sandwich

  • Sit, chat and enjoy the sandwiches together

  • If you have the time and resources, repeat with a "pudding" sandwich (encouraging people to really push the boundaries of what a sandwich can be)

  • Tidy up

  • Get back together as a big group and talk and make collaborative notes on how it felt to make and be made sandwiches, to eat together, chat together and (very importantly) tidy up together

Things I have found come out of this:

Discussions / understandings about shared, and not shared, culture (around eating and cooking, but also around, creativity, gifts, mess and sharing)

Code of conducts / manifestos about how and why we work together

People giving themselves permission to be creative

Friendships

Some wildly bizarre and extremely beautiful sarnies

Images: Collaborative sandwich making session at Social Practice Forum, Newcastle. The NewBridge Project, Newcastle // Gateshead, 2019

"During their session, Lady Kitt invited us to push the boundaries of sandwiches (savoury and dessert) and share our experimentation with our partner and the rest of the group. Once we had devoured our pièce de résistance, we cleaned, tidied and reflected on the process and our experience.

By reflecting on the playfulness of this everyday act (well, at least an everyday act for me), it solidified my love for the sandwich as an artform and subverted my attitude around the process of tidying. As someone who finds peace of mind in order, it was fun to think about mess-making and tidying in a completely different way than I usually would."

Kat Bevan, artist and founder of the Artist Food Bank Network (AFBN), 2020