Fiskur|Oranges emerged naturally from my interest in working with a common food item, to both Canada and Iceland. The first association that sparked this project was color, from my visits to the harbor, in Reykjavík and the small pier, in Blönduós. Orange lits up in contrast to the deep blue waters and black sand. Eating oranges in Iceland felt like a luxury. Dried fish on the other hand grows on you; it taste of resilience and the ocean.
The dried fish is embroidered with a phrase from the song “I remember” by Molly Drake. By a twist of fate, it was the first song to play on my spotify, when settling in for my first night at the residency. I was feeling totally out of place, in a landscape and community that was both strange and familiar. The song accompanied me during my first week; i would sing it on my walks, in the pool or while hanging out at the small beach. I decided to embroider a phrase from this song, as a starting point for my project; it also served as a reflection on relationships, memories and place. From there, different elements came into play gradually. In response, I wrote and embroidered a verse of my own on two oranges; “I remember the ocean and you remember absence”. I played around the connection between fish and orange; between salty and sweet; between dry and juicy.
The act of embroidering on a foreign material, permits me to enter into a space of knowledge of that said material, outside its primary function. The dried fish and the two oranges, become a material with a dual identity, where it is still food, but also a material with a specific significance. The process of embroidering is disrupted, as well; I find difficulty, where on textile I find ease. I cannot rely on the memory of the gesture and I relearn the act of embroidering.