all you can eat - 11 euros and 12 cents
All You Can Eat - €11.12 - candle wax, pigment, wood, leatherette, 2018 (detail)
The foundation of this work is the fact that the average wage per hour of an early years educator is €11.12. (from ECI findings, Doing the Sums; The Cost of Providing Childcare, September 2016) which is below the Living Wage of €11.90 which is considered the absolute minimum essential standard of living (MESL) as calculated by VPSJ (Vincentian Partnership for Social Justice). The idea of an All you Can Eat Buffet comes from Las Vegas Circe 1946. A buffet was also a display of wealth in 16th c France and it referred to both the food display and to the furniture on which it was mounted which was often draped in rich textiles- Louis the XIV - the Sun King ‘ who was famously attached to his mother Queen Anne (she handed military secrets over to Spain) had St Vincent de Paul as her spiritual advisor (1643) (VdeP died 1660). For them, the plates and silver buffet furniture had to be melted down at the mint to pay for the wars at the end of Louis XIV’s reign.
All You Can Eat - 11 euros and 12 cents - collaboration
During the exhibition of this piece at Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray, Irl, an (in)voluntary collaboration occurred. On several occasions visitor(s) to the exhibition found it necessary to take the piece of leatherette which surrounded the piece and use it to cover up the two wax breasts that were purposely being ‘uncovered’. This led to an unwitting participation, on their part, in making exactly the point I had intended, namely the hiding of labour involved in childcare.
All You Can Eat - €11.12 - candle wax, pigment, wood, leatherette, 2018