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Artist Out of Residence: Jonathan Oldfield

The Lockdown Cookbook - Summer 2020


Over the summer of 2020 artist Jonathan Oldfield was appointed our Artist Out of Residence as lockdown restrictions forced spudWORKS to close their doors.  Jonathan took inspiration from a family heirloom he rediscovered whilst locked down at this parents' house to create the Lockdown Cookbook project and reach out to communities around Sway. Below is an overview of the project.  The final Lockdown Cookbook will be available as a digital book shortly.....

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What is the lockdown cookbook?


'In the midst of the mayhem of the last few months, I was reminded of my great grandmother’s cookbook, which she hand wrote before, during, and after the Second World War, and sits on the bookshelves of my parents’ house. Gladys Mabel Beard began her recipe collection almost 90 years ago. The book is filled with found recipes from friends, from magazines, the wireless, her mother and even one person she met whilst in hospital. It’s a time capsule of a nation stuck indoors, with minimal supermarket options, and the stories of the food they ate. As we find ourselves apart from each other, and scrambling for eggs and flour in the shops, I want to collect and collate the lockdown recipes of today, as well as inspire a new generation of cooks. Creating new stories with old favourites. The final recipe book will be available for all of Sway and the New Forest at spudWORKS to use, and continue to build, once the Artist Residency has finished.


The title “Using Dried Eggs” comes from a scribbled note found in a recipe dated the 16th August 1942, as wartime rationing forced necessary alterations to Gladys’ culinary experiments. Whether you’re 8 or 98, I’m interested in collecting your favourite foods, not just as a time capsule, but as an opportunity to come together and connect with others. Either digitally, or via handwritten communication I can’t wait to explore the recipes and stories of Sway and the New Forest'.  Jonathan Oldfield, June 2020

How people got involved?


  1.   They sent recipes! Recipes they loved, from beans on toast to a full     three course meal, whether a chef or not! They were     handwritten and mailed to us, emailed or read out over the phone.   They told us why they mattered and where they came from.


  2.    They cooked a recipe! Recipes that had been sent in were written              out by hand and mailed to the people of Sway and their experiences          of cooking the recipe were documented and sent back. 

The Virtual Lockdown Cookbook

The Lockdown Cookbook - a beautiful book, hand bound by Jonathan Oldfield, containing all the documents, recipes and experience from the project will be available to view at spudWORKS and online below in digital format.

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