Holly Graham and Fozia Ismail: The Bottom of the English Cup of Tea

08 Dec 2018


Jerwood Space , London

This page was made some time ago and may contain information which is now out of date

A tea making workshop exploring histories of empire, sugar and spices. In this session, led by artist Holly Graham and cook Fozia Ismail, participants are invited to create their own spice mix for brewing Somali chai. While doing so, the group will be asked to consider the colonial context of spices and sugar which fuelled industrial and economic growth in Europe, shaped European culinary culture, and continue to frame contemporary notions of identity.

This event accompanies Holly Graham, Sweet Swollen, which was exhibited in the Project Space 5 May – 25 August. It is free to attend, booking is required via Eventbrite.

Holly Graham is an artist based in London. Much of her work considers the malleable and subjective nature of individual and collective memory. Bound up in this lies an interest in recording mechanisms, documents, evidence and processes of editing. She completed her BFA at Oxford University in 2012 and completed her MA Printmaking at the Royal College of Art in 2014, where she received the Thames Barrier Print Studio Graduate Award and the Augustus Martin Award for Innovation in Print. Concurrent to her studio practice, she leads workshops in schools, community groups and galleries. Recent exhibitions and projects include: Sweet Swollen, Jerwood Visual Arts, London (2018); Leaning Against or Holding, Skelf, online (2018); After Harry Jacobs: Outside, Cypher Billboard, London (2017); House Work, 53 Back Road, London (2017); Altai: Experiments in Collective Practice, RCA Dyson Gallery, London (2017); Backdrop, Cypher, Berlin / Bond House Projects with Art Licks Weekend, London (2016); Jack Petchey: START Programme, South London Gallery, London (2015-16); In Transit, Art On The Underground, London (2016); Flat-Pack, The Greenroom, Krakow (2015).

Fozia Ismail runs a Somali supper club called Arawelo Eats. Fozia has used the supper club as a platform for thinking, researching and exploring racism and British identity via the medium of food – particularly in response to Brexit. She has written a paper on this subject for the Oxford Symposium on Food & Cookery 2017, which was published in July 2018. She has created and run workshops for Keep It Complex feminist art collective in London, Pumphouse Gallery Summer Pavilion and Museum of London. She has participated in panel discussions at Studio RCA (Royal College of Art) and a-n (the largest artists’ membership organisation in the UK). She has been featured on BBC Radio 4 Food Programme, Oxford Symposium on Food & Cookery Ox Tales podcast, Food 52, Crumbs Magazine, Vice Munchies and Bristol 24/7. She is currently working on commission for Serpentine Gallery and was participated in their Radical Kitchen programme as part of the 2018 Summer Pavilion.


Holly Graham, Sweet Swollen, 2018. Detail. Photo: Anna Arca.