Apart from the Volunteers Day at Clarence House this coming weekend, Leeds will also be hosting a unique and slightly surreal event – a pop up cake shop at Leeds Corn Exchange on Sunday from 10.30 to 4 p.m. It is part of a global network of shops selling grey coloured cakes and cakes which represent mood to raise awareness of mental health issues and provide a platform for discussion.
The symptoms of depression can be complex – and vary widely – and so will the cakes on sale, many aiming to visually represent mental illness. For example barely decorated cakes or cookies will communicate how depression can affect your ability to work, the grey & dull consistent colour scheme that all fun can disappear from life. This will be a cake shop like nothing else seen before, the sad looking but delicious tasting cakes powerfully demonstrating the effects of depression. (You can take a look at some of the ideas at http://misscakehead.wordpress.com/2013/05/24/the-depressed-cake-shop/ )
Cakes and baked goods on sale at Leeds Corn Exchange, fitting within the theme, have been baked by over ten bakers, both professional and non-professional taking part in the event. 100% of sales from each and every cake will be donated to Inkwell and Dial House, two very important and worthy mental health charities within Leeds.
Many of the cakes will also be made by those with personal experiences of depression, using baking as a way of expressing their struggles with, and experiences of, the illness. Speaking about the shop, organiser Alice Wood comments:
“I think this is a fantastic opportunity to bring all different kinds of people together over what is usually a taboo subject.”
The long term aim of this project is set up a series of baking therapy sessions around the UK, set up a support network for those who use baking to help combat depression and support bakers through the process of turning cake making into a business as their health improves.
Bakers wishing to contribute to the shop should contact Alice Wood on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Depressed Cake Shop Leeds Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/511782165543936/, or tweet @DCSLEEDS.
The Depressed Cake Shop is an Eat Your Heart Out Event, a collective of UK based food artists leading the way with creative food presentation, innovative edible projects and ground breaking edible art techniques. The key aims of the movement are to promote creativity in food, give talented individuals the chance to shine, be discovered and build their own self sufficient businesses. As part of our support network we also offer guidance, advice and media training on how to manage the many media opportunities that come along as an inevitable result of being involved with Eat Your Heart Out.