In Visible Substance
L’Autre Pied Artist in Restaurant 2014
Between April and September 2014, Heather worked behind the scenes at L’Autre Pied (Michelin-starred restaurant in Marylebone, London) observing and recording the impressive human effort that goes into making and serving its world-class cuisine.
Staff were invited to wear heart rate trackers during service to capture biometric information including pulse rate and calories burned and the data was then transformed into a series of artworks. One series of screen prints, Simultaneous Service, depicts several members of staff working the same shift. Their second-by-second heart rate is represented by dots in a spiral form – the larger the dot the higher the heart rate – each ‘portrait’ showing individual moments of pressure or physical exertion.
Simultaneous Service and the series Spinning Plates are both screen printed in materials taken directly from the Michelin kitchen, such as squid ink, red pepper and beetroot food purée. The same purées have also been observed at close magnification under the microscope, revealing hidden structures and pattern.
Collectively, the artworks make visible aspects of the busy restaurant not normally on view and offer an alternative portrait of a dedicated and highly skilled team. The resulting works were exhibited at the restaurant, L’Autre Pied, 5-7 Blandford Street, Marylebone, from November 2014 to May 2015, with seven works remaining on permanent display.
Heather is the fourth ‘artist-in-restaurant’ at the family of Pied restaurants.
The annual residency grants an artist access to the inner workings of either L’Autre Pied or Pied à Terre, its famous sister restaurant at 34 Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia, and a blank canvas to respond creatively to what they observe.
All artworks © Heather Barnett 2014.
Computer coding of heart rate data by Chris Fry.
Many thanks to all L’Autre Pied staff for their support and enthusiasm throughout the residency.