Talking Dirty: Tongue First! Recipes from the Mouth of the Thames, is a commission by Arts Catalyst led by artist Fran Gallardo. Talking Dirty: Tongue First! was a series of public events involving local foods, their source, preparation and consumption.
Following this the recipe book was produced in collaboration with the situated knowledge of South Essex people, scientific research and global socio-environmental ‘trends’. This book contains instructions for cooking with estuary ingredients: Grey Mullet and Hair Soy sauce, to inhaling Fogs and Airs of the Thames Estuary.
Through introducing local people to ingredients from the Thames in public cooking and tasting workshops in Leigh-on-Sea, they explored environmental and industrial changes including social impacts of these changes.
Alongside these tastings, Andy Freeman led citizen science workshops which investigated the traces of waste disposal on the ‘unnatural’ nature reserve of Two Tree Island in Leigh-on-Sea with Dr Mark Scrimshaw, Reader in Environmental Chemistry at Brunel University.
Citizen science workshops involved the use of digital technologies to investigate the legacy of generations of industrial use and misuse in the estuary landscape to reflect on wildlife habitats, global effects of climate change, industrialisation, farming, risk and health.
Talking Dirty is part of Wrecked on The Intertidal Zone, an art and citizen science project to uncover and highlight local knowledge about the changing ecology, society and industry of the Thames Estuary. Lead by artists YoHa, Critical Art Ensemble, Andy Freeman and Fran Gallardo, and curated by Arts Catalyst.