Gourmandizing
STORIES

Words: Jason WH Page   Photography by Agnese Sanvito, Maxim Vinciguerra, Jason WH Page

Gourmandizing

We are all hungry, but what are we hungry for?

 

Gourmandizing seeks to answer that question, beautifully. The answers vary from culture to culture, home to home and, most importantly, neighbourhood to neighbourhood. Gourmandizing’s is an ongoing social dialogue, seeking to investigate how folks have been breaking bread with a myriad of dishes such as Humble Pie, Baked Alaska and The Roast.
 
Our murals are native to the urban landscape where advertising signs are both dense and in heavy competition for the ill-afforded attention of busy passers-by. Though our designs draw from a similar aesthetic and speak in a familiar visual language, our work interrupts the transmission of these consumerist messages by introducing a voice of community, not commerce - one of value, not of cost.
 
 
Finding that food is the perfect way to level the social playing field and break down any existing social and cultural barriers, they bring people together around the proverbial table which allows for folks to more quickly open their ears and their hearts to other’s stories.
 
Founder Matt McGuinnes says, “Gourmandizing is designed as a social action project and an empathetic signage shop which creates viscerally emotive cultural way finding. We operate between academic and strategic graphic design philosophies, but with the aesthetic and vernacular of urban shop signage. Our [palette] is a marriage of unplanned, flat fix signs with folkish paint strokes on roadside farm stands.”
 
Gourmandizing’s latest work is White Noise/(Buzz) at London Bridge as part of the London Festival of Architecture and supported by Friends of London Bridge, the Low Line, Network Rail and UK Networks.
 
If the hum of the city represents both the audible culmination and the background of our everyday, we thought we ought make a feast of it, because of all the times we make a noise in one place, a lot of it's gotta be around food right? Yeah we got the trains, buses and sirens but where is the chatter?
 
 
It’s in our restaurants, outside cafes, pubs and around street food vendors! It’s the sizzle of a kebab, the clink of glasses, the meeting of friends.
 
Artists Matthew McGuinness, Jason Page and Nick Woodford collaborated with London Bridge restaurateurs at Honest Burger, Comptoir Libanais, Nine Lives bar and Pizza Pilgrims to articulate the sounds behind the drinks and dishes that form the backing track to local livelihoods, using them to wrap the substation as it diffuses its energy into the mix; a canvas buzz to the clatter of plates and the chatter of dinners of this growing food destination.
 
Gourmandizing and Mesh Workshop were previously shortlisted finalists on another LFA project at Thessaly Road in Battersea. The fellas were pipped to the post by Yinka Ilori but judges were impressed by their active engagement with communities and food and invited them to this opportunity on Bermondsey Street to celebrate the emerging food scene there.
 
The results are truly delicious. Next time you’re in the area, have a look. And make sure to follow Gourmandizing.
 
Engaging with communities hyper-locally – through community groups, schools, business improvement districts and the like – Gourmandizing conducts a series of workshops and online events, mining the community for food stories and recipes and transforming the data into delicious designs that will lead to the creation of community-led artworks.
 
 
Matt continues, “We want to know the recipes, family heirlooms and fail-safe culinary instructions that have been responsible for keeping you delighted at dinner time. We desire to collect, test, taste, cook and share these recipes with Londoners of other neighbourhoods via a mural project."
 
We would like to take a moment to remember one of the most talented individuals Gourmandizing has had the pleasure of working with, Chris Mackenzie Gray. He has left us far too soon, but his impression and his marks endure. Thank you for making our murals look so good. PSA: Remind your friends and family you love them, often.
 
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