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Janet Tavener – Memento, 2015

Brenda May Gallery

May 5, 2015 - June 6, 2015


In my previous work ice sculptures of both heirloom and exotic fruits were photographed as they melted in a constructed glacial landscape. These works acted as a metaphor for shrinking polar icecaps, indicators of global climate change and fragility of our food system.

In the new series ‘Memento’ the crystalline fruit and vegetables are no longer floating on a melting surface but have sunken into the ocean – semi submerged as they are swept along the icy current. Objects such as a skull and fly, symbols of decay and transience, join the icy fruit and vegetables that once nourished and sustained life. The photographs have an innate sense of loss – a frozen moment in time that has already passed.

While dealing with the present, the work is also steeped in the traditions of the still life painting dating back to the 17th century in which the depiction of everyday objects represents our temporality – a Memento Mori, and our folly if we believe we can cheat nature.