Who do you invite to take a place at your proverbial table? Or rather, who invites you? Food, as always, is the clearest indication of our daily participation in the divide between the ordinary and the luxurious — who can partake, and who must merely watch. Alice Toomer’s latest painting exhibition, Bread & Butter, casts us as the voyeurs and holds the untouchable within reach just a little longer, preserving the laden table’s ephemerality with her decisive clarity.

At the outset, Toomer’s depictions of fine cheeses and sourdough are complimentary, the exhibition title itself — Bread & Butter — honouring food’s essentiality in life. She stands back and paints with intent, every inch of her works laboured over and formed with care, inciting perfection as a practice. It is a commitment to understanding her subject, both in form and in symbolism — each work adding to the open letter she writes of both the adoration of these indulgences, alongside lingering critique.

As more time is spent with these goods, the fine line between nourishment and indulgence becomes far too easy to tip. Essentiality becomes lost with each new trimming — as the commercialization of the food industry gets restless for more. We, the voyeurs, are held back from our feast just a little longer, tangled in the unattainability our purse strings may bind us within. What we perhaps cannot enjoy daily becomes what we will savour on occasion. Toomer adeptly laying out our dining table, one by one.

— Text by Claudia Munro

Opening Wednesday 27 March, 6pm.

Alice Toomer is a Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington based photorealism artist. Since 2009, her works have featured in various galleries, solo exhibitions and group shows throughout Aotearoa. She holds a BSA from Massey University in 2018.


  • Wed 27 Mar


  • 6:00 pm


  • 26 Constable Street
  • Newtown
  • Wellington 6021
  • New Zealand