Portfolio: Felicity McCabe
Sunday 28 April 2013
Anyone with a cursory interest in visual art will know that fruit is never just fruit, freighted as this most seemingly banal of subjects is with grave associations of decay and mortality. And so it is with photographer Felicity McCabe's shots of peaches, bananas et al, inspired by looking at Dutch still-life paintings at the National Gallery.
"A lot of them are [based] around that theme of vanitas," she says, "the futility of life and the fact that we're all assured of death. I wanted to echo that kind of thought – the idea that once the banana's been picked, you can't un-pick it."
Unlike her Dutch antecedents, however, McCabe has her symbolic comestibles not on tables or in bowls but gripped by laboratory clamps, putting a modern twist on the still-life tradition and creating a striking juxtaposition between the natural and technological.
McCabe admits that her work can also be read as a comment on our unnatural relationship with natural produce; or, as she puts it, "The idea that everything is measured and gauged and one peach is judged against the next as to which is more suitable to eat."
Perhaps they speak, too, of the elision between food production and manufacturing in an age of mass industrialised farming. See? There's more than one way to peel a banana.
For more images, see felicitymccabe.com
Arts & Ents blogs
Dennis Hopper's lost sixties photo album found
What are the best first lines in fiction?
EDL Girls: Don't Call Me Racist, BBC3 - TV review: EDL Angel gets into a right muddle
Russell Crowe's Noah banned in three Arab countries before worldwide premiere
Call The Midwife: Jessica Raine leaves in series three finale
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
The quiet diplomat: Catherine Ashton - recognised and admired in all the world’s troubled countries, yet ridiculed at home
- 1 Pakistan vs Paul Smith: Sandal-wearers bemused by famed British designer's attempts to sell traditional Peshawari chappal-style shoes for the distinctly untraditional sum of £300
- 2 Family forced to flee home after discovering 'terrifying' nest of spiders in bananas
- 3 First Kiss: Filmmaker gets 20 strangers to make out on YouTube with awkward results
- 4 Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
- 5 Bob Crow death: 'Admired by his members, feared by employers' - Tributes pour in for RMT union leader and 'working class hero' Bob Crow