Image: Tom Mannion. Christopher Farr x Bethan Laura Wood Jelly Salad, Christopher Farr Editions rug, in lime or lemon jelly (two colourways).
Jelly Salad by Christopher Farr with Bethan Laura Wood
Written by Ruby Wilson
Jelly might be considered the archetypal, artificial, sweet treat. What is perhaps less considered as such is the short-lived fad of ‘Jell-O-Creations’ that reached its height in the 1950s. Examples of this questionable trend include ‘Chicken-Jell-O Salad’ and ‘Lime-Cheese Jell-O-Salad’, which involve the suspension of both chicken and cottage cheese in the wobbly concoction. These Jell-O creations do, however, make for the brilliant subject of Bethan Laura Wood’s 1.2 x 1.8m rug, in collaboration with CF Editions, entitled Jelly Salad.
The subject of the design revolves around food presentation, with an array of abstracted vegetables, including chopped green olives, fringed-edge cucumber, courgettes and peppers presented as if they are suspended in jelly.
Image: Tom Mannion. Christopher Farr x Bethan Laura Wood Jelly Salad Christopher Farr Editions rug, in lime or lemon jelly (two colourways).
The rug was made using the hook rug technique, as suggested by Christopher Farr, because of the non-conformist nature of the piece. A range of heights and textures are created by cutting looped areas made from strips of fabrics. This creates interesting textural definition which lends itself particularly well to the depiction of ‘jell-o-vegetables’. Indeed, it was the curls in the cut fabric that reminded Wood of cabbage, inspiring her to explore food presentation in her work.
The rug is available in two playful colour ways, reflective of the vintage cookbook colour schemes that included so many of these jelly recipes. Such recipes, being frequently depicted in high saturation images, have a particularly futurist look about them, not to mention the floating vegetables! The hook technique lends itself to these curved forms, accurately reflecting the wobbly jelly in a truly multi-dimensional sense.
Image: Christopher Farr Studio. Image courtesy of Christopher Farr.
The rugs, unlike Farr’s typically made-to-order woven products, are available to purchase, as Wood welcomes renewed accessibility to her work. ‘Jelly Salad’ pays homage to the long-standing tradition of weaving whilst depicting the rather short-lived trend of ‘Jell-o-Creations’.
The Jelly-Salad prototype is available to view from the 19 - 24 September at Christopher Farr, from 10:00-18:00 BST, daily.