“During the process of creating my work, Mary Pratt was a heavy influence. Pratt was known for her realistic paintings and her ability to capture such emotion and detail in everyday objects. Family Dinner is inspired by what a typical dinner looks like in my family. Throughout my childhood, family dinners have always been a central memory in my life and the origin of many family interactions. Through my interpretation, I wanted viewers to feel like they were having dinner alongside my family, with the constant clashing of chopsticks, loud music from the daily news, and voices trying to overlap one another. As an Asian Canadian, my dad always made sure to introduce me to as many cultures as he could, often clashing the East with the West in the process. This piece illustrates a unity of diversity and highlights an important aspect of my experience growing up.”
—Maggie Zhu (Grade 10, J.N. Burnett Secondary, Richmond, British Columbia)
The family dinner table is a recurring motif in Mary Pratt’s (1935–2018) body of work, which features hyper-realistic images of various domestic settings that include light-filled living rooms, kitchen counters, and dining room tables like this one.