Creator: Kay Slater
Exhibition: Inedible Cakes
Published: February 2020
Format: Illustration, Ink & Pastels
My synaesthetic brain posed the question “can I express the stress, noise, and indecision I feel when confronted with CAKE (something I’m compelled to make, hate, and eat)?”Kay Slater
Description of the Work
The Sound of Cake was created during #Inktober (2019); an online event that encouraged artists to dedicate the month of October to a daily practice using ink.
The work, The Sound of Cake, responded to the prompt: Tasty. My synaesthetic brain posed the question “can I express the stress, noise, and indecision I feel when confronted with CAKE (something I’m compelled to make, hate, and eat)?” My struggles around weight, body positivity, the social act of eating in public (compounded with my challenges to hear in noisy spaces), and sugar addiction are hardly unique. It’s being discussed by folks far more educated, affected, and connected to these issues than me on a regular basis. Even those who perpetuate these systems of oppression shame the framework that encourages eating disorders, obsession with perfect food and diet, and body dysmorphia. Folks who are struggling with their own relationship to food and diet often lash out and shame the efforts of others who commit to loving their bodies, eating, and lifestyle changes. It’s a huge, ever present thing. I’ll be the first to admit that within a 24-hour period, I have encouraged someone to see themselves as human, beautiful, desirable, worthy and loveable, only to then look at myself with disgust, and spiral down a list of food items that I shouldn’t have eaten that day, followed by a proclamation that I’ll never eat again.
About Inktober: While many prompt lists were circulated, the popular progenitor of this event released an annual “official” prompt list that was primarily used by folks online. After 3 years, the artist decided to trademark his success and has since started to go after any creators who have benefited from the prompts, hashtag, or brand association. While he and his legal team argue that they are protecting their rights to profit off of their IP, I am saddened by this sudden shift away from what was an invitation to inspire and help artists (regardless of their skill or career status) grow, to a greedy grab for self-promotion. I am still struggling with the whiplash from this about-face by an employed, and established artist to take ownership of a thing that was supposed to be open and community driven.