‘A Cake For Every Day’ was my first foray into working outside the studio. The initial idea came from a book, ‘The Everyday Cake Book - a recipe for every day of the year’ which I was given by a chef friend. Printed in 1919 during paper rationing it is a no-frills compilation of 366 recipes (making an allowance for leap year). There is no consistency as to style and presentation. The order of the ingredients is random and the type size is tiny. The recipes give no guidance as to size or shape of tin and more infuriating, most do not specify a cooking temperature, “medium” is about as much information as one gets.
I wanted to explore the idea of cakes in relation to the everyday. Using ‘cakes’ as the conduit I wanted to look at what has changed since 1919 not only in relation to our skills and taste, but also routines. Women’s roles in particular have changed dramatically, juggling home, family, work, community and their personal lives. Food gathering and preparation is a mixture of pleasure and necessity.
I selected cake recipes from the book that represented the rural, regional, religious, folk, and cultural meanings of the days over which the project ran, Shrove Tuesday to Easter Monday 2009. This project was embedded into a particular location, the bakery shop, and the customers were the audience.