Temple of Halotherapy

London, 6 September – 6 October 2019

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“Trust no one unless you have eaten much salt with him.”
Cicero (106–43 BC)

Bompas & Parr Studio present The Temple of Halotherapy, a gastronomic tasting and art installation dedicated to the vast historic significance of salt throughout the world; political, commercial, scientific, religious and culinary.

Salt has profoundly shaped history. Wars have been fought over salt, trade routes formed by it, vocabulary and tradition developed by it. In various contexts, it is used metaphorically to signify permanence, loyalty, durability, fidelity, usefulness, value and purification.

The healing temple installation affords guests the opportunity to savour the glory of common and rare salts which will be revealed in a choreographed tasting experience consumed with pieces of chocolate.

In recent years it’s been hard to ignore the calls to reduce salt intake, but salt may not be as damaging to health as is usually claimed. A recent study by Prof Andrew Mente from the Population Health Research Institute of Hamilton Health Sciences and McMaster University involved more than 90,000 people in more than 300 communities in eighteen countries. The findings suggest that, “at moderate intake, sodium may have a beneficial role in cardiovascular health, but a potentially more harmful role when intake is very high or very low. This is the relationship we would expect for any essential nutrient and health. Our bodies need essential nutrients like sodium, but the question is how much,” said Mente.

“Halotherapy” derives from “halo”, the Greek word for salt. Halotherapy is the use of salt vapour to combat mental lethargy, cleanse the skin and enhance respiratory performance. For centuries, monks and sages have ventured into naturally occurring salt caverns for spiritual retreats and to heal. Crystal rock salt is a natural ionizer, with the power to significantly improve the quality of air and the wellbeing of those who enter.

You are invited to immerse yourselves in the illuminated temple, feel your way through the bed of salt and reflect at the altar adorned with “salts” from the The Worshipful Company of Salters – one of the Livery Companies of the City of London.

We warmly welcome you to reflect on the ubiquitous kitchen staple and how it can not only enhance your food but your spiritual wellbeing too.

“Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”
Mark 9:50

Our salty installation is part of 'Welcome Home: A Speculation on Living Spaces at Elephant West Gallery.  Runs 6 September – 6 October 2019 in partnership with the Worshipful Company of Salters.