The Edible Isles


The Edible Isles

Zone 4

Jess Rosman and Eunice McAllister

For a child, an island is a place full of adventures. It is a place for discovering new and unchartered territory and it is also a place for discovering a new side to oneself. The Edible Isles embodies all that is sacred about childhood. There are no adults, there are no rules, there is just one child living out their ultimate food fantasy, on an island. But what is most significant about this world is that it comes directly from a child’s imagination. It is a child’s imagination that moulds and paints the creatures here. It is a world where a child can live freely and they can live bravely. It is also a world in which children can eat well, and where fruit is no longer just part of the everyday. On this island fruit has an alluring, exotic quality.

The poem, which is the basis for the installation, is set in a child’s kitchen and everything that happens is seen through the child’s eyes. A playful, inventive rhyme sets the tone for the physical installation, as it captures a food fantasy that is representative of all adventurous and mischievous children.

When writing the poetry, Jess Rosman wanted to take children (and adults) on an appetising adventure. By appealing to their taste-buds and also to their sense of fun and humour, Jess is able to show children of all ages that there is a great deal of strength and heroism associated with eating fruit and vegetables. And when told in a child’s language, through poetry, colour and intrigue, Jess believes the message of eating well and having fun with food, is more powerful.

Eunice McAllister, the visual half of the collaboration, has worked in digital photography for many years and only recently came to installation and sculpture, a path many photographers find tempting. It has been a challenge to move her work from the gallery wall to the outdoors. To bring this food fantasy to life, she explores many different colours, shapes and textures. She sets the scene for an island adventure by creating a variety of vegetable creatures, representing the child’s dreamlike food world that he has conjured up from his imagination. The installation also gives her an opportunity to work with paper mache, natural fibre and repurposed objects to support the narrative. But more importantly it allows her to visualise like a child, for whom no creature is too outlandish.

By reading the story and then walking through The Edible Isles, Eunice and Jess hope to take their audience on an intriguing island escapade, which awakens the imagination (and appetite) of young and old.


Jess and Eunice are running Food Face for Kids workshop Sunday, 23 November 2014 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Make sure to book your tickets!  to ensure a place!