Food + art in the North

 

A couple of years ago my spouse challenged her father into making a new drawing every day for 360 days. Her father, Bill Olson, is a renowned artist and thus took to the challenge as a way to grow further as an artist. For four years they have been planning this exhibition, and my spouse, herself a renowned dance artist, curated the whole thing. So for the grand opening of the exhibition, named “Bill365” after the degrees of a full circle, adding another 5 for the days of a year and the additional 5 degrees of the observers, they wanted to give the audience something more interactive. They invited multi artist Rasmus West to make food and myself to create something coffee related to correlate as the liquid counterpart to the food. The idea with the food was to leave a trace on paper that would resemble on of Bill Olsons paintings.

Since this was at Västerbottens Museum in Umeå, I wanted to work locally with a friend who is the local coffee hero, the King of the North: Costas! He was happy to help me out, so we spent a day in his roastery, roasting and sampling coffees that would suit the local crowd as well as provide something out of the ordinary to play well against the food Rasmus was cooking. We ended up having 16 coffees on the table, and I picked 4 in the end: A Daterra sweet yellow from Brazil, offering a more generic but classy coffee flavor that would be recognisable to a non-coffee crowd, two different sample lots from Burundi that both were savory and really interesting, an Ethiopian geisha from Ninety Plus for that tropical fruit sweetness and a geisha from Janson in Panama for the same reason.

The reaction from people were very interesting. People into wine understood the sweeter, brighter, more acidic coffees immediately. Those more traditionalist were acustomed to the Brazilian, pleasantly surprised by the Burundi coffees and couldn’t really stand the geishas. All in all, I ended up brewing coffee non stop for 3 hours to people lining up, chatting and wanting to know more about coffee. At an art opening. Since the art itself was also about the craft of drawing, it went well with displaying Christian Gullbrandsons Linneus-stand for filter brewing that was kindly borrowed to me by Costas. No one failed to comment on it as being an art piece itself. A most fantastic experience for me as the coffee maker, as well as the visitors who didn’t expect this gourmet feast.

Thank you so much Costas for all the help with the coffee and gear, and thank you Bill for wanting to give your audience something out of the ordinary!

NP: Kiss “Strutter (demo 1973)”

 

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