Membranes and Pith 305

Photo: of an art installation called Membranes and Pith 305

Membranes and Pith 305

By Cherry Archer

Artist Statement

Cherry Archer uses photography, ice, and culinary plants that have ties to her Trinidadian heritage to explore themes of memory, storytelling, family history, and how first-generation parents connect their youth to their cultural roots. Her process begins by collecting culinary plants which evoke a strong memory of her childhood and family. She boils, rehydrates, peels, manipulates, and freezes the plants in water to form a Botanical Ice Tile. The tile is illuminated with coloured light, photographed, and then printed in large format.

Similar to how ice preserves food, Cherry uses ice as an analogy for how the mind stores memory; while the essence remains and some parts of a remembered experience are clear, other details are cloudy or deteriorate with time.

In Membranes and Pith 305 she uses citrus fruits to explore the bittersweet memories of grieving her mother’s death mixed with the sensation of tasting her first freshly picked orange which her grandmother plucked from a tree in her garden.

When Cherry was a child her mother had a degenerative illness resulting in near paralysis. The responsibility of cooking fell to her at a young age. Reverie 25 recalls the bonding that occurred during the daily cooking instructions that her mother talked her through. Almost every meal preparation began with peeling onions, so various types of onion peels were layered in the ice to create this photograph.

This artwork  is presented in partnership with City of Richmond and InTransit BC.