What Shall We Have For Dinner

Artful Dickens: Inspiring and Engaging Local Young People
Friday 22nd August 2014

I came here to learn about Charles Dickens and his life, to have a bit of fun as well. Parsa.

On the Friday 22nd August 2014, the museum opened its first community-led exhibition, entitled What Shall We have For Dinner’. It was created by a team of local young people who came together to produce and curate their very first museum exhibition, with full creative freedom over its content.

The four week project was led by the Charles Dickens Museum in collaboration with Holborn Community Association, and generously funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The young people had the opportunity to learn screen printing skills from expert artist Katie Kennedy, and to familiarise themselves with the Museum, and the life and works of Charles Dickens.

‘I knew a bit about Dickens, because my English teacher goes on feminist rants about him. Iarla.’  

After much research, the team were inspired by Catherine Dickens’s original recipes, from her cook book, ‘What Shall We Have for Dinner?’ and Dickens’s vivid portrayal of food within his novels. They chose to delve into the mouth-watering world of Victorian food for their exhibition. The screen-printed artworks on display included everything from flaming plum puddings to glistening jelly towers, wine glasses to exotic herbs. They chose to screen-print on to aprons, in keeping with the general theme of the exhibition. Also on display were their stencils and earlier practise prints, showing their techniques and progression over the course of four weeks.

It was really fun and we even got to see the Dickens Museum! Chiara.

The budding curators and artists greatly enjoyed themselves, and would gladly come back again, as they often told us.

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