The making of lemon tree
The making of lemon tree
This is a project, for the light house art gallery in Wolverhampton, it began with 18 plastic lemons (see Lemon tree)
But I wanted more than a display of the remnants of pancake day
Lemons don’t grow well in this country, it can be done, but requires very careful tending, a warm sunny environment, the right soil and the right amount of water at just the right time. The plants are expensive to purchase and produce very few lemons, so why do some people grow them? perhaps they like the challenge.
So, for this project, I purchased a plum tree, it can be planted in garden soil, they respond well to the British climate, get their requirements for heat sun and water from the sky, produce lots of fruit and are relatively inexpensive.
For the gallery ,this tree needed a pot, I didn’t want to add to the plastic problem with a plant pot, so I used a collection of plastic bags which I layered and wove using a basket making technique, the layers remind me of the layers which develop in landfill, with colours of plastic tightly compressed against each other.
The plastic netting which many of our supermarket lemons are transported in, cause great problems for our wildlife, they trap animals which then struggle and become ever more entangled, the larger nets which are often used to contain these bags of fruit are adding to the problems in our oceans. To reference this, I stitched some of the fruit bags that I was given for an earlier piece, to the plastic of the pot, ensnaring plastic sea creatures into the netting. These sea creatures were a lucky find, left abandoned at the beach last summer.
The leaves were cut from green plastic pop bottles and wired to the lemons before hanging on the then still bare tree, during the time inside at the gallery, the tree came into leaf, so that it had both plastic lemon and real plum tree leaves.
In the days after pancake day this year, I asked friends to keep their plastic lemons for an art project I had in mind, I was given 18 plastic lemons! Many of the lemons still had juice left inside, when I asked questions about this, the answers all led to the fact that these lemons had only been purchased to put this lemon juice on to a pancake, they didn’t need to keep the plastic lemons, as they had fresh lemons in the fridge.
This is a piece that explores the power of advertising and how a company can change our shopping habits and the long-term effects of our actions. The slogan of ‘don’t forget your pancakes on jiff lemon day’, is advertising genius. To persuade shoppers to purchase a plastic lemon to squeeze on their pancakes when they already have a lemon in the fridge
The advertising campaign has buried itself into our heads, pancakes and jiff lemon just go together, people who don’t buy single use plastic bottles thought it was perfectly acceptable to buy a single use plastic lemon
But at the same time many fresh lemons are sold in plastic net bags, these bags are problematic as they not only do not degrade, but their mesh form traps and maims animals that come into contact with them
I wanted people to stop and think about the effect that a simple lemon could have on the environment, and the way our behavior has been manipulated
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.