Pippa Hale‘s project Consumption links past and present experiences within the grim atmosphere of an 1860s Yorkshire Workhouse, now the Workhouse Museum in Ripon, one of the best preserved poorhouse sites in England.
During a day long performance project, participants were filmed preparing, cooking and eating a typical Victorian Workhouse meal in the Workhouse Kitchen and Dining Hall. The resulting film is now screened in the original dining hall.
Pippa’s research into the museum’s archives helped to ensure that this was an accurate representation of a Victorian pauper’s meal in 1861, with ingredients, recipes and preparation techniques as well as etiquette and seating plans all drawn from historic sources.
Pippa Hale commented: “I remember visiting the museum for the first time and being overwhelmed by the hardship faced by the poor who were interred here: the mindless work and long hours, the paltry food portions, the splitting up of families. I hope I’ve achieved what I set out to do, the inmates would have eaten in this dining hall every day, by creating this experience within the same space and also by screening Consumption in here, the past really will meet the present ”
This Workhouse Arts project is funded by Arts Council England