Programme — Event

Of English Children’s Teeth

Image courtesy of Holly Graham



90 Haymerle Road, London, UK


Sunday 7 October, 2pm–5pm

Holly Graham will host a workshop to accompany her new exhibition, Carefully Cleansed of Labour and Softened by Cooking, which continues her exploration of histories and legacies of sugar, industry and slavery.

The exhibited works take as their starting point a pair of Meissen porcelain sweetmeat bowls held within the Victoria and Albert Museum’s collection.  These were made between 1765–75 and would have, at the time of their production, been considered an artisanal, luxury good, symbolizing the wealth and status of their owner.  Visually, they each depict turfy mounds which prop up bowls to hold sugar or sweetened dried fruits, which are in turn flanked by caricatured ‘blackamoor’ figures who gesture towards the food products in the bowls in front of them.  These are part of a wider tradition of similar figurines that embody, and silently testify to, financial gain through processes of colonial exploitation.  Holly is interested in how the narratives embodied by these objects are tied together with localised histories of industry rooted in the area surrounding Compressor – a project space hosted in the window of fabrication studio Weber Industries, off Old Kent Road.

The workshop takes the form of an oral history sharing and print-based session over afternoon tea, where participants are invited to share favoured sweet treat recipes and to design an accompanying illustration using an etching process called sugarlift.  This involves the use of a sugar solution to imprint an image onto an etching plate, a process which was developed in Europe in the late 18th century, which approximately coincides with the production period of the sweetmeat bowls.

This event is open to the general public, with a number of places reserved for South London Cares – a charity who aim to draw communities together, and to reduce isolation and loneliness, particularly amongst older people and young professionals based in south London. Reserve a place at the workshop.


Holly Graham

Venue/event info


Under 16s


90 Haymerle Road, London, UK