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133 Pie Floater in Acrylic or Sculpture


This acrylic painting is called the Pie Cart and I have also made a similar one in ceramic and mosaic as a commission that hung at the Adelaide Airport.  Perhaps you also have some pie carts in your town?

acrylic naive painting of the iconic pie cart with people eating and having fun by australian/swedish artist marie jonsson harrison

Come and have a Pie Floater

Here in Adelaide we have had them since 1870 in Norwood and later in the city, at one stage there were 13 of them around town.   My memory of them does not stretch that far lol, but I do remember one on Franklin Street and the other in front of the Adelaide rail way station.


A Pie Cart is a caravan or trailer with a window along one side where you can sit and eat, although most people stand and eat, perhaps that is because you want to test yourself, to see if you still can.  Well that is because the pie cart is usually the place to go late at night after too many drinks, when you start to get hungry and need a little help to sober up.  Of course I had to paint from experience as usual – you know I had to stay up till 2am in the morning, have too much to drink and really gage the atmosphere right?  All in the name of research of course, suffering all the way!


Not that they sell too much that I could eat there anyway being a vegetarian and all.  The menu consists mainly of pies (funny about that) they did sell hot chips which I could eat and pea soup.  Speaking of which, pea soup that is, as you can see above not all people like it – or is that a reflection of too much to drink.  Here in Australia we call that a Techni-colored  yawn. LOL.  If it also looks as if someone has Casino chips and throwing money around on the painting that is because our Casino is in the same building as the Railway Station in Adelaide.

Then there was Beef pie, Camel pie, Chicken and Vegetable Pie, Chilli Steak Pie, Egg, Bacon and Tomato Pie, Lamb Pie, Steak and Kidney Pie, Roo Pie, Tuna and Vegetable Pie, also ice coffees and soft drinks as well as hot tea and coffee, donuts and some cakes.  I do have a distant memory of scoffing down a vanilla slice early in the morning way before I even had my painting research to blame that on! I am reliably informed that more recently they were also offering vegetarian pasties, spinach and fetta triangles, but the most famous of all their dishes were the Pie Floater.


So what is that I hear you ask, well self explanatory really, a bowl of soup with a pie in the middle, often served with tomato sauce on top, you can also add other condiments such as Worcestershire sauce or vinegar.  We actually have it every Australia Day now at home, my hubby makes a great vego version with a vego pie and it is delicious.  As the Pie Floater was recognized as a South Australian Heritage Icon in 2003 by the National Trust of Australia we think it is fitting to serve it when we have overseas visitors too.  You know a bit of Aussie fun and so far it has always been a big hit.

There are 2 trains of thought how the pie floater was originally created.  One story takes it back to the Great Depression, whereby pie manufacturers would donate their left-overs to soup kitchens, who in turn would add the pie to their soups to make the meals for the homeless more substantial.

The other thought goes back even longer than that – 130 years no less as early records held by the South Australian National Trust puts the Pie Floaters origin in Port Pirie where a man named Ern “Shorty” Bradley ate one.  It is not known if it was his intention to put the pie in the soup or perhaps he dropped it into the bowl by accident, no one really knows.  But I am glad he did.


Famous people who love the Pie Floater are Joe Cocker, Billy Connolly, Nigel Mansell, Shane Warne and Angus Young from one of my favorite bands AC/DC.

Here is a Jewish Proverb by that I think fits well here;

“Worries go down better with soup”.

Although perhaps this quote by Robert Byrne hits the mark a bit more;

“Anybody who believes that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach flunked geography.”

Till next time happy painting and sculpting and eating to you all,

Love Marie xxx  (c)

If you liked this food and art blog you may also enjoy this one; 83 Art & Are you fond of Fondue

Why not come and have a look at Marie Jonsson-Harrison’s PAINTINGS FOR SALEGICLEE PRINTS FOR SALE and SCULPTURES for sale or WALLBASED SCULPTURES.  Enjoy an original artwork on your walls or perhaps one on your bed ARTnBED.

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