• Fern Petrie

Bell Jars

Recently I was lucky enough to acquire a collection of stunning handmade leaves from Taranaki artist Linda McFetridge. They sat sprinkled on my shelf as if autumn had intruded inside the house while I considered how best to display them.

At the moment my paintings all reference bell jars. I am drawn to the idea of compulsive collection, of an obsessive need to shield an object from the ravages of time and suspend it in a state of limbo.

I decided to make two bell jars taking the kōrari or flower stalk of the harakeke and painstakingly gluing each leaf to this trunk to form the semblance of a living tree. I like the fact that something organic and something man made have come together to form a new creation; a creation which will never rot or fade but will stay fixed as a reminder of this place and time forever.

Above I have added a photo of two other bell jars I made years ago to commemorate my marriage. Inside each iridescent butterflies flutter over the hand made flowers we commissioned for the church.

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