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Toast Art on display in Haworth

I regularly stop at St.Michael & All Angels Church in Haworth on my Bronte tours. The church is next to the Bronte Parsonage Museum, but all that is left of the church from the Bronte sisters time is the tower, the rest of the church being re-built after Patrick Bronte’s time.

It is still worth going inside the church to see the Bronte Crypt and some lovely stained glass windows but there is another reason to visit which you wouldn’t normally expect to see in a little village church.

In the nave of the church to the end of the left aisle, infant o the organ pipes is an extraordinary piece of art. At first it looks like a pretty impressive image of the Madonna and Child, it is only when you get closer that you see that the image is entirely made up of pieces of toast!

The artwork was created by Adam Sheldon and is on temporary loan to the church by Adams mother Judy who is a member of the congregation. The piece was created in 2010. The toast was mounted using transparent adhesive and then an protective coating applied so the toast would be preserved.

Sculpture Adam Sheldon scraped and carved over 160 slices of white bread to create the seven foot tall sculpture.

Adam used a regular toaster to create the 160 slices before flattening them so they would fit in a frame. He then used a scaping knife to create lighter patches and a small blow torch to create darker sections as required to create the image. It took over 200 hours to create the piece.

The artist had worked with toast before – creating a large image of Jesus on the cross and Albert Einstein too.

Apparently, the artist was interested in the way the most basic foodstuff can carry additional meaning.

He also felt the piece linked into the fact that Bethlehem means “house of bread”. Plus he liked the fact that Christians found the presence of Christ in bread at communion.

Sadly, Adam died suddenly at home in 2022, aged just 45, his funeral taking place in the Haworth church. He had dedicated the artwork to his mother when complete so its fitting she has let the church temporarily exhibit the piece to give the hundreds of visitors to Haworth each day the chance to see the artwork.


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