'In the house of Martha and Mary’ is part of a triptych series that aims to raise awareness of the growing... Read More
'In the house of Martha and Mary’ is part of a triptych series that aims to raise awareness of the growing social issues behind our global frenzy eating disorder. This series combines facts and research about our current food culture with staged settings inspired by 16-17th century biblical and still life paintings resulting in a contemporary visual and factual narrative. "Facts on canvas" strives to reveal the malfunctioning social issue of ours in an art form. It reflects a small part of our current day food culture that is unsustainable while at the same time citing selected biblical reference as an irony. Finally, it hopes to act as a consumer reminder to adjust our tastebuds and help reduce or omit suffering from humanity and the environment.
'In the house of Martha and Mary’ depicts how we consumers, worship imported food like an irradicable religion while being surrounded by an abundance of local and regional produce. This interpretation is staged and inspired by still life painting ‘Christ in the house of Martha and Mary’ notably painted by several Dutch old masters including Pieter Aertsen, Joachim Beuckelaar etc. The account behind the paintings is from a chapter from St Luke’s Gospel (Luke 10: 38-42) about one of his missionary visit to the house of Martha and Mary. The younger sister Mary is completely overwhelmed by the presence of Christ, his wisdom and words. Hence she chose not to help her sister, Martha, to prepare a lavish meal in the kitchen for Christ and his disciples.
Sitten on the right of this reinterpreted artwork, ‘Martha’ contemplates a rich spread of local and seasonal produce widely grown, cultivated and available in the Netherlands and its region. While on the left, ‘Mary’ starstruck and seemingly smiling at an imported pineapple on her hands. The pun of the biblical story and staged image is the comparison of how consumers have devout themselves with the bountiful availability of imported food, very much similar to the belief and loyalty of a religious faith. However, our indulgence in imported exotic food creates numerous social and environmental problems. By bringing this food to our plate, it brought about issues concerning conflicts at growers’ countries, drug cartel, deforestation, high carbon footprint etc.
All staged items chosen are selected to enhance the practice of using local resources within our regions. The food items used are green and white asparagus that dominates Dutch springtime, vibrant coloured summer berries and seasonal shellfishes liked oysters and lobsters that are cultivated in the Eastern Schelde. Finally, all decorative products showcased in this artwork are from designers within Rotterdam and the Dutch Randstad districts.
Artwork Credits: Art Direction & Concept: Phyllis Wong, Photography: Erikjan Koopmans, Editing: Erikjan Koopmans & Phyllis Wong, MUAH: Eveline Carpier, Assistants: Bart de Groot, Pim Louf, Model: Noa & Meggie van Ijsseldijk, Products: Foekje Fleur, Minale-Maeda, Lex Pott, Julie Thissen, Juliette Warmenhoven, Woodchuck, Flowers: Niche Flowershop & Een Bloemetje op Tafel