Table Talk: Libby Haines

Table Talk: Libby Haines

Libby is an artist based in Naarm, whose work cherishes the joy of everyday life through colourful still-life paintings. 

Capturing the uncanny and unremarkable — a half-eaten meal, unmade bed, or a kitchen in motion—the results are paintings oozing playfulness and nostalgia.




Can you tell us about your approaching to creating your Food For Everyone poster design?

Creating the poster for FFE was a total joy and right up my alley! I love Elizabeth Hewson so I was really excited to be painting one of her recipes. Pasta is my favourite thing to cook (and eat!).

I wanted to capture the liveliness and slight chaos that cooking is for me- ingredients strewn on a top table, spills here and there. Thick paint application and texture are the way I love to capture food, so I hope I did Elizabeth's recipe justice! I went for warm colours in the mustard and peachy pink, I imagine eating this dish on a summer’s day with a chilled red.


If we were to peer into your pantry and fridge, what are 5 things we would always find? 

Ortiz anchovies. Semolina. Chilli. Parmesan. Lemon.



What do you cook for the people you love?

If I have the time I love to make orecchiette from scratch and serve with a simple white wine, lemon, garlic, chilli, anchovy, parmesan sauce and a few sides. Lately I have been making a beetroot and ricotta salad, and a cos salad with parmesan bread crumbs. If I'm more pressed for time then Mussels with white wine, fennel and cream sauce is a great (and quick) recipe, served with a simple green salad and a warm crunchy baguette.


What are your favourite rituals around food and dining? 

Good wine, candles/mood lighting, great playlist, great guest list, plenty of time to prep so I'm not a hot mess when people arrive. Sleeping children (sorry kids) and of course an extravagant meal I have spent hours preparing but make appear effortless to my guests. Then lots of lols and juicy convo.



What are your favourite songs to paint to? 

I once prided myself on my taste in music and had my finger on the pulse to a certain extent, but it is definitely not the case anymore (probably since having kids). If I have managed to escape the earshot of my children and we aren't listening to a Gecko's Garage or Mickey Mouse, I find myself listening to the same shit I always listen to, going for one of the various playlists I've created years ago and have not updated since. The one I rely on heavily is my Lockdown 6 playlist from 2021 featuring Sudan Archives, Parcels, James Blake, Sycco, Christine and the Queens, Sufjan Stevens, Parquet Courts, Alt J and Thelma Plum.



Where do you draw inspiration from, both in the studio and in the kitchen? 

My life, the meals I eat, and the crappy photos I take on my phone at weird angles. I also love a vintage cookbook, I have a stack passed onto to from my Grandma that are endless sources of inspiration for me, so much decadence and stunning compositions.


Elizabeth Hewson's Spaghetti Puttanesca by Libby Haines