Local residents introducing Harold Offeh to Milton Keynes on several walking tours across the city.
Through the mediums of performance, video and photography, collaboration and conversation, Harold Offeh is an artist who develops work that responds to places, situations and histories. Often the artist inhabits or embodies these histories, using humour to confront the viewer with alternative, forgotten or censored narratives.
In February 2022, Harold Offeh invited local people to be his tour guides of Milton Keynes. He was interested in what an encounter between a curious visitor – unfamiliar with a place and its history – and the people embedded in that place, would lead to. The artist was taken on guided walks of Wolverton, Great Linford, Central Milton Keynes and Bletchley. In each of these areas, the tour guides shared their knowledge with the artist and each other and, over the course of the walks, the guides came to better appreciate both their neighbourhoods and their own expertise.
In April, Offeh returned to Milton Keynes. This time, the artist worked with the same groups to create a collective map of Milton Keynes formed from individually-made tablecloths, candles and plates – all sculpted or decorated to reflect the stories, places and histories that had been revealed to him. This unconventional map celebrates the fact that a place is not navigated by roads and paths alone, but also by the individual and collective memories and experiences of those who live there, as well as its curious visitors.
On Thursday 7 July 2022, the individual components of this map and their respective makers come together at MK Gallery for one night only. A selection of dishes chosen by groups involved in the map’s making will be presented on the map as well as recipes collected from people living across Milton Keynes, which connect them to a memory, a time or a place of personal significance.
As part of Harold’s project you are invited to share family recipes with us that celebrate or reflect your own identity, background or heritage. These will be printed for presentation at the final ‘EAT THE FEAST’ event at MK Gallery on 7 July.