Daily bread: artist to adorn a Birmingham church with Czech baked goods

Daily bread: artist to adorn a Birmingham church with Czech baked goods
Still from Baked Woman of Doubice (2012) by Tereza Buskova

6 June 2016

On 11 June, Czech artist Tereza Buskova will perform an old English tradition known as Clipping the Church, and decorate the church building with plaited dough.

Participants will recreate the forgotten ceremony by linking hands to form an unbroken circle around St Barnabas’ Church. The custom is believed to have originated in the 16th century, taking place once a year, when young apprentices and women in service were allowed home to visit their families and their “mother” church.

The performance will also include live cello music and elaborate costume. In preparation, Buskova also held a series of public workshops baking salt dough decorations, a tradition taken from her native country.

The Birmingham-based artist often takes her inspiration from eastern European folk traditions which she reinterprets through performance, print and video. For the film Baked Woman of Doubice (2012) she invented her own folklore that revolves too around baked goods, only this time used to dress the body.

“My work is not built on existing facts of past folk practices alone. It is a personalised exploration of the feelings and fantasies bound up in our rich festive celebrations,” Buskova describes her practice.