Rachael Colley

Ambiguous Implements


Output: Other

Ambiguous Implements is the result of an enquiry that investigates the extent to which ambiguous eating implements, when used to consume food, have the potential to create new forms of experience. The outcomes of this research are a collection of artefacts used for eating which form this multi-component output. The initial tests and investigations led to
the development of a series of double-lobed copper spoons, which curator Laura Mansfield selected to be published in FEAST Journal’s online Cutlery edition
in 2016.

In collaboration with Mansfield and cross-disciplinary artist Nuala Clooney, Colley was awarded Arts Council England funding to support the further research and development of her Ambiguous Implements collection and to undertake a national group touring exhibition of the same name (Sheffield, Birmingham, Folkestone and Rochdale), alongside a series of four concurrent public events including family workshops, symposiums and a tasting session. The group exhibition was featured in the Crafts Council’s publication CRAFTS and Corridor8, the online contemporary arts and writing journal.

Participants responding to works from Colley’s Ambiguous Implements collection, using them to consume their lunch, commented: that they “felt challenged, but in a good way”, reflecting that “it slowed down my process”. Another participant stated that “using an implement of choice made eating a very individual experience, unlike the uniform experience of eating that uniform utensils inspire. (The) social aspect and the conversation created by the utensils made the experience extra enjoyable”.

The dissemination of the above instigated Steinbeisser to commission 60+ Cutlery Comb and For-K-andle pieces to be used in their internationally renowned Experimental Gastronomy events during June 2019. These commissioned works featured in design publications across the Middle East, Canada, South Korea, France, Spain, Hungary, Croatia, Germany, Italy and the UK.

Research Output

This collection of images displays the outputs from this project. Find out more details in the full case study below.

Research Method

This research occurred through practical making and the exploration of a range of materials and processes which result in the creation of artefacts. Concepts and inspiration derive from Colley’s experience of living in and with her body, documenting her experiences and sensations through photography, drawing, collage and a range of 3D making processes, including CAD.

Key Methodologies:

Full Project Output

REF '21

To learn more about the output, methods and dissemination of this work, explore the full project submission.

Other Projects By

Rachael Colley