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Sushifishal by Natalie Castree

Single servings of cultural experiences

The single use ‘sushi fish’ soy sauce packaging is an instantly recognisable part of the experience of eating sushi in Australia. In this exhibition I use this iconic image as a motif to consider my own relationship with multiculturalism and my privileged ability to ‘sample’ other cultures in one-off experiences – particularly through food.

The availability of food from a diverse range of cultures has often been held up as evidence of a successful multicultural community. While this is true, it must also be remembered that simply enjoying the food of another culture does not remove the social inequalities that continue to exist in contemporary Australian society. As a person who moves through society with a certain amount of privilege, these experiences can be quite superficial; a fun, and easy way for me to feel cultured and cosmopolitan without any meaningful engagement with people outside my own cultural group. Indeed, I can now use an app to order a ‘cultural experience’ to be delivered to my door, contact free.

The sushi fish also reminds us of the impact of throwaway culture and the plastic waste that can be generated by consuming take-away food. Like the carp these packages are modelled on, single use plastics have invaded our waterways, the detritus of one-off experiences threatening that which has sustained life for millennia.

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Thursday 7 October
6.00 PM
Monday 1 November
Sushifishal by Natalie Castree