Originally exhibited in the Project Window, Harbourfront Centre, 2011.
Cotton organdie, cotton velvet, linen, silk, wool, discharge and earth pigment screen-print, cochineal, goldenrod, lac, Lady’s Bedstraw, logwood, madder, pomegranate, quebracho, Queen Anne’s Lace, and weld dyes, gold leaf, stitch, vintage Crown, Atlas, Beaver, Corona, Gem, Jewel, Mason, Perfect Seal and Safety Seal jars. 2011-12.
The Fruit Cellar of Miss H…
Preserving. Formerly, this household task occupied much of summer and autumn, in order to conserve fresh food for consumption during winter, when it was a scarce. The filled shelves of a cold cellar afforded a sense of accomplishment, virtue and security. This pursuit, so representative of ‘old fashioned values’, is lately experiencing resurgence as we place more importance on the provenance of our food.
Each year, I can fruits, pickles and jellies. This is an inherited habit. A few jars put down by my grandmother still remain after a quarter century. In particular, one treasured jar of her pickles has become like a votive from her to me. This seemingly mundane object acts as a time capsule of seasons and places past, preserving her memory.
This body of work imagines the fruit cellar as a storehouse of memories. From season to season, the contents of each jar are imbued with vestiges of the past, triumphs and regrets, joys and sorrows. The vessels are an investment in the future as much as they are reliquaries of the past. The fruit cellar acts as a hope chest of both realised and unrequited aspiration.