Saturday 19 January 2008

Yogurt Landscape

Above: this is the first in what I hope will become a series of paintings based on the simple, idealised landscapes found on corporate food packaging. I did this one a while ago, and technically I'm not that happy with it, but it lives in my kitchen regardless. It's based on a tiny landscape that I found on the foil lid of a little yogurt I had for breakfast in Rome in the summer of 2004.

Above: Even though at the time it was cleaned and packed away in my notebook to take back to Australia, the said yogurt lid has since sadly gone AWOL. I downloaded this from the Bayernland website instead. I hope I don't get sued: it is actually a huge German dairy food company. More importantly, I hope that my little audience can see where my landscape came from. Meanwhile, I have tried to work out why I have this strange interest...

Above: My only explanation comes from Burda. When I was a child, my mother lived her domestic life out of this German sewing/craft/cooking magazine. Besides being engrossed in the sewing and knitting patterns, I loved the kitsch German recipes and the advertisements that sat next to them. Here, for example, I like the juxtaposition of the photographed landscape with simple graphic symbols of idyllic life. (Detail of cheese advertisement, Burda, June 1982.)

I'm sure that this won't be my last mention of Burda: I think that if my house was to burn down my collection of these magazines from the first two decades of my life might be what I would grab first. Of course Mum let me keep them: to her they are completely passe'.