OPENING EVENT: Tuesday 29 August, 5.30-7.30pm
Thrown together or meticulously planned, a hodgepodge of items found in the fridge or an recipe followed verbatim — once it’s served up, a salad becomes more than its parts.
Ordinary ingredients become infused with a light touch of magic. A thoughtful forkful that can elevate you above your Tupperware lunch container — even if just for a moment.
In "Salad", Erica van Zon makes the mundane a bit more magical through her harmonious blend of hand embroidery, beading and photography. No stranger to a cobbled-together or expertly executed salad, van Zon is a master forager and her keen eye spies ingredients in the world around her.
So what’s van Zon putting in her salad? There’s a celebration of bygone luxury international travel inspired by illustrations in a children’s book, and a glimpse of a grey cat spotted out the bathroom window. There’s a tribute to the dwindling fish stocks and wilting lily pads of her relative’s fishpond and a memory of a Whanganui sunset as observed through a 1970’s toilet window. There’s a preservation of eternally season-less flowers by the automatic entry doors of the supermarket and an homage to an appetiser from the cult classic 1970’s cookbook "Be Bold With Bananas".
Some of van Zon’s ingredients have an abstract blur that reflects their weekly regularity and repetition. Others are placed behind textured glass to give a sense of distance in time and space. There’s a slight sense of wonky imperfection that gives the objects a sense of familiar relatability: they are from the world around us, we just hadn’t thought to put them together like van Zon has.
Served with her characteristic good humour and warmth, you can't help but dive into van Zon’s "Salad". And as is true of salad, art and life, the wonky bits just make it more delicious.