Artist Ahi can create recipe for success

Ahilapalapa Rands at Sewerby Hall. Picture by David Chalmers
Ahilapalapa Rands at Sewerby Hall. Picture by David Chalmers

Sewerby Hall’s new artist-in-residence has flown in from the other side of the world to cook up a new project charting the Bridlington area’s long love affair with food.

Ahilapalapa Rands, known as Ahi, has flown in from New Zealand and wants to collate local recipes which have a story behind them or have helped to bring families together.

She said: “The idea came about from research at the hall. One of the ladies who used to work there back in the day used to keep a book of recipes and medicinal recipes, and she wrote people’s names next to them.

“I thought it was a really amazing piece of history with lots of information.

“I love how they still have workshops in the kitchenand I was inspired by that and thought we should do a contemporary take on that.”

Ahi wants to hear about recipes which tell the story of Bridlington’s people.

Her aim is to find recipes anecdotes, memories, photographs and pictures connected to Sewerby Hall and the surrounding area to include in the book, which she hopes will become a fascinating and valuable historical record for years to come.

Everyone whose recipes and stories are chosen for the book will be invited to a special launch at Sewerby Hall in March 2018.

Ahi said: “We want families to send in their favourite recipes, either historic or modern, to see how our relationship with food has changed.

“Everything is so convenient now and we no longer eat seasonally.

“At the end of it, we will have an exhibition and hope to launch a cookbook that people have contributed to.

“We want to work with kids, as well as our elders who hold all the treasures of our past.”

“People have already come forward with some beautiful stories and anecdotes that I would love to use.”

Ahi has just finished a project in Hawaii, and has also worked in China, Australia and her native New Zealand.

So, what does someone from the other side of the world, as far away from Bridlington as you can travel, make of it?

Ahi said: “It’s my first time in Yorkshire, but when I got this project I found out have ancestral links to Rotherham. They left there to travel to New Zealand.

“It has taken five generations for my family to come back.

“It’s beautiful. Seeing the sea as soon as I arrived here made it feel like home. I had no idea how gorgeous it was.”

Ahi is going to be based at Sewerby Hall for the next month and then will divide her time between Sewerby and London for the rest of the winter months.

She has been brought to the UK to work by art and environment organisation Invisible Dust. Anyone who wants to get involved with the cookbook initiative can email sewerbyproject@gmail.com