Denise Felkin


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Eastbourne’s Devonshire Ward is home to a rich variety of food and drinks retailers from around the world. The Seaside Road area of the ward has a particularly vibrant community of restaurants and cafes and is also home to Devonshire Collective’s gallery, studios, and artists’ workshops.

Foodchain is a documentary photography project created in Eastbourne's Devonshire area. The series of sixteen images represent the diversity of the individual retailers of Seaside Road area. Foodchain is both a photography exhibition at DC1 and outdoor Art Trail, led by Denise Felkin and assisted by Tarina Lastella. The project was conceived to engage with the food retailers in the local community, to strengthen relationships and provide visitors to Seaside Road with an insight into the lives and inspirations of the people behind this food scene.

Take a walk from Shimla on Seaside, along Seaside Road, have a look at one venue on Cavendish Place, then back onto Seaside Road and left onto Terminus Road, towards the sea.Observe the variety of food retailers. Through multiple exposure photography Foodchain visually fuses creative portraiture and food photography. The vision is when people work closely with objects such as food or plate art,  they unconsciously resemble their creations and bring something new to the table.

Dave from Thayer’s took over the business in 1987 serves homemade ice cream is immersed in his frozen milk and cream.  Rashid from farmhouse pizza is fused onto his pizza base. Niki from The Sandwich Bar is perfectly superimposed on a slice of bread. Tarek from Higgs Boson Show has invented Superfluid a chemical free alternative to water; naturally he is blended with his extremely healthy mint plant.  

Each participant was asked the same questions to reflect the mix of opinion in the area.  Alongside business details, where their food is sourced, their hope for their future, the Brexit question quizzes what will leaving the EU mean for the local businesses?  The opinion is divided, some are just not interested, others believe it will have no affect or bring positive change, the remainers are worried as there used to be a lot more visitors in the Seaside Road before the referendum two years ago, and are concerned about student visas, staffing problems and inflation. One retailer commented on how he is in favour of Brexit but with the current government can it be they be trusted to make it will work out favourably?  Another commented on how he thought it might affect London only. In the shifting change of Britain during this turbulent period in reality less people are eating on the Seaside Road, people have less money to spend and tourism is in decline.

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