Raising a toast or 8,000 to the Queen

Myles Calvert far right, and some of the Toast on Tour team, in the Art and Design department at Sussex Coast College
Myles Calvert far right, and some of the Toast on Tour team, in the Art and Design department at Sussex Coast College
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ART students hope to soon be toasting the success of their Jubilee-themed installation at Sussex Coast College.

Led by artist Myles Calvert, around 15 first year Fine Art Contemporary Practice students are hard at work producing thousands of slices of toast, each printed with an image of the Queen’s head, which will be displayed in the foyer of the college from Tuesday, April 17 until May 4.

Myles, who also lectures at the college, said: “This is about exploring screen printing as a medium of mass production.

“We chose an image that people would recognise, and not just in Hastings. It is fitting that the Queen as an iconic figure should be given this status in her jubilee year.” He said that visitors would be invited to take away a piece of souvenir toast in return for a small donation. The fresh bread is screenprinted, before being toasted, and then finally sprayed with a preservative. It could have a shelf-life of up to three years.

The installation “Queen on Toast” has taken three weeks to prepare, 420 loaves of bread, and approximately 8,300 slices.

Division of labour has occurred, with students split into teams, such as printing, installation, and security and patch-up (in case any corners are nibbled by visitors who have missed breakfast.

Canadian-born Myles Calvert is an artist who specialises in printing on unique surfaces, and product design. This is not his first work in toast, as he has already produced toasted artwork including portraits of Damian Hirst, Angus Fairhurst, and even his own face. The Toast on Tour team are carefully documenting their work in the hope of breaking a new Guinness World Record, the most screenprinted bread.

After the exhibition in the college foyer, they hope to take the toast on the road to other local spaces and galleries.