Memory As A Wax Tablet
22 October - 22 December 1999

Performance & Sculpture as part of A Christmas Pudding for Henry

A Henry Moore Institute External Project

Leeds Metropolitan University Gallery

A Christmas Pudding for Henry was the title of a two month project devised by the artist Jeanne Van Heesswijk with the aim to create a multi faceted portrait of the city of Leeds.
What is it that makes our city of today so appealing? This question about the nature of the cultural infra structure of the city will formed the basis for discussions, workshops, field work, and presentations which were created in collaboration with different artists across disciplines and members of the audience.
During the two month period of the project artists from Leeds participated alongside artists from the Jan van Eyck Academie. Sheila Gaffney developed Memory as a Wax Tablet as part of this.

Project Proposal:
an invitation was created, a pencil drawing became a flyer

Sheila makes a wax pudding

Pudding comes to lunch one Monday

...the scene is set...

and is shared slice by slice amongst the participants...

who take their slices into the city

and knead and soften them to make 'not - slices'

(or make them warm and malleable by keeping the slices close to their bodies).

Imprints, impressions, physical traces of the city are taken

and brought back to the gallery

where they are assembled, negotiated, interlocked, interspliced, welded together

to float in front of us, the city

as seen / felt / touched / by the participating community

as a prescence in the LMU gallery.

The Christmas Pudding wax, was made by Sheila Gaffney and 'served' at the lunch to the participants

Memory as a Wax Tablet (The Reconfigured Christmas Pudding) wax, was re-made by the participants

The Lunch:
Invitations were dispersed around the city. Those who chose to attend became the participants, and they were welcomed to the lunch. The artist cut up the pudding into slices whilst a noted solicitor in the city performered aloud an extract from Plato's Theatatus Memory as a Wax Tablet.

The slices of wax pudding were wrapped and distributed to the participants. Simultaneously they were pulling open Christmas crackers and reading the enclosed extracts from Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities. The participants left the gallery to explore the city with their wax, returning one week later to contribute their rendering of the city to the sculpture Memory as a Wax Tablet.

Examples of extracts from Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities found in the christmas crackers:

The Performance: