I read with interest about The Depressed Cake Shop’s upcoming pop-up bake shop event. The cakes on sale will all be grey on the outside, with colours revealed on the inside. The event will take place August 2 – 4 in London, and the organizers are encouraging others to schedule pop-up bakeries of their own anywhere in the world. (Please note: in the US, the cakes would be GRAY with COLORS revealed on the inside.)
The point of the event is to raise awareness of the effects of depression and mental illness. As the original article notes, and the National Institutes of Mental Health confirm, one in four people suffer from mental illness at some point in their lives. The goals of the Depressed Cake Shop are to open up conversations and to raise funds for mental health charities.
Why are the cakes grey? There is room for interpreting this color choice. Certainly, shelves full of gray cakes will create a striking image, suggesting that the impact of depression is significant. Another point is that, for those suffering from depression, the world turns gray. It’s hard to experience fun and joy when depression is weighing a person down. Finally, the colors inside the cakes suggest hope, which may be hidden underneath depression or hard to locate– but the idea that hope exists.
I like the idea of using food stuffs to express complex ideas, like the conversations that could arise around the topic of depression. Food is almost always more than simply fuel. It’s a way to show creativity, innovation, individuality and love. Why not show a little love and bake a gray cake.