Ellen Mueller

Eating & Making Together (Cheese Sculptures)


This participatory project involved eating Babybel cheeses (a product available in both Germany and the USA), crafting sculptures from the red wax coatings, and developing a collection of the sculptures, all while holding small group discussions about big ideas. The first iteration of the project took place at Künstlerhaus Lukas Artist Residency in Germany, May 2017. The second iteration of the project took place at UMass Dartmouth during February 2018.

The project facilitated interesting discussion on a number of ideas, from items connected to cheese, eating, Germany, sculpting, and wax, to American politics, international stereotypes, and contemplation of what the Americans would think of these German Sculptures, and vice versa, etc. Communication was challenging at times because my German is limited, as were many people’s English. The cheese and sculptures acted as a lovely silly bridge between us, despite the language barrier. In America, people were very curious to know what the Germans had discussed before them. Both groups were eager to see how the sculptures would compare.