“When I look at this piece, I feel like I’m listening to Joni Mitchell in someone’s peaceful, sunny kitchen. The off-centre framing, the colours, the light: I just love the way this piece feels on a sensual level. It also makes me think of my mother and my sister, who make jam and jelly every year. I know those jars, those labels, and I know the time and the patience involved in making those small, delicious gifts of fruit and sugar and alchemy. This piece takes everyday ‘women’s work’ and transforms it into something sublime and erotic and powerful. And as a feminist and as a woman, I love how this work shows that you don’t have to paint a battlefield to make an important work of art. As we know from Jane Austen, great art can come from the small stuff of life as much as from the big events. In this piece, the small, domestic details of everyday life—details that have traditionally been a part of a female domain—are transformed into something beautiful, something worth capturing and worth seeing.”


Art Canada Institute, Mary Pratt, Jelly Shelf, 1999
Mary Pratt, Jelly Shelf, 1999
Oil on canvas, 55.9 x 71.1 cm, Collection of Equinox Gallery, Vancouver

Tassie Cameron is a Gemini-winning screenwriter, co-creator of Rookie Blue, and executive producer on Mary Kills People.


Photo credit for Tassie Cameron: Joy Davenport.

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