Mālum is the Latin word for Apple
The origin story for this exhibition resides with the unique properties of the apple.
The apple is the fruit born of the apple tree; The apple’s spring time flowers are romanced by dancing bees carrying pollen, these pollinated flowers grow to yield autumn's sweet fruit. A favorite snack of children and adults alike. A wedge, a garnish, a sauce and beverage. They are amazing wonders of nature… the end!
Much like anything around us, if we ask additional questions and dig deeper there is always more, something new;a new perspective.
Upon becoming a father in 2017, I decided to plant an apple tree in our yard to mark the occasion. A time stamp that would change and grow foot and step with the chapters of a child's life. Also picking apples seems like a very appealing childhood task and heck why not have it right there in the front yard.
Always wanting to learn through the process, I decided to take an apple seed, cold store it and then grow a sapling. I felt confident.
Months later with a small sapling in hand a friend inquired how the sprig was growing. Good, was my response. The next question however would set this exhibition into motion. She then asked ‘I wonder what kind of apple tree it will be?’
My response was quick and confident. It will be a Honeycrisp, that’s what seed I planted that’s what it will be if it grows.
She then informed me that that is not how apple trees work.
I did not understand, a seed from a tomato will grow more tomatoes, a kernel of corn will grow a stock and make more of that same corn. Apples on the other hand do not adhere to this timeless agricultural methodology. They have their own way. They could yield any type of apple, crab apple or possibly even a new fabulous, whimsically named apple depending on a host of different factors.
Much like human offspring, the apple’s seed yields a new tree depending on two different genetic make ups to make something new. This is why grafting exists; why in agricultural settings one sees lines of one type of apple variety duplicated in rows predictably. These varieties are grafted to any other apple root stock to produce the same varieties over and over again. Meaning, there was once one honeycrisp apple tree that occurred. Then people cut branches from that one Honeycrisp and grafted those branches onto an apple tree rootstock and made a new honeycrisp apple trees and so on and so on with predictably. The apple tree sought to make a new apple tree each time a seed was planted from its fruit. Human hands intervene to duplicate and repeat the gift of uniqueness to yield the Macintoshes, the Northern Sprys, the Bethels , and even the Honeycrisps.
I quickly saw an analogy of having my own child on the way.
Who would they be? What things would interest them? What would they look like?
This series of artwork is both a reflection of this broad unknown chapter of parenthood I was entering as well as the subjects, intrigues, places, and mediums I was either introduced to, or reintroduced to upon becoming a parent.
Sun cast cyanotypes
Aimless and painstakingly slow walks in creek beds
Epic architecture structures made from magnetic jewel tone tiles
The apples in this exhibition are castings from an apple grown from the very tree we ended up planting in our front yard in 2018, it is a Granny Smith.