Princess Cake, 2021
archival pigment print, edition 2 of 5 + 2 APs
53.8 x 35.6 cm (unframed)
54.6 x 36.1 cm (framed)
Courtesy of the Artist
Svava Tergesen combines elements of sculpture, collage, and cooking to reimagine experiences of domesticity, gender, and health. Princess Cake, part of the playfully surreal Garnished Sundries series, considers how the pandemic has influenced the way we experience city life, entertainment, and the home environment. The artist’s vibrant colour palette, domestic textiles, and flat lighting take inspiration from the uncanny food photography of the 1950s and ’60s found in cooking books, magazines, and recipe cards. For Tergesen, manipulating food is a whimsical, aesthetic, and subversive gesture. It complicates the task of nurturing family, which upholds narratives of gendered labour within the home. Tergesen considers the use of her large format camera and analogue film to be a kind of plastic wrap—a second skin that preserves the “freshness” of her arrangements, halting the inescapable decomposition of food and textiles. Her camera becomes a thread between photography, sculpture, craft, and cooking.
Tergesen has exhibited in Canada and the United States at such venues as the Seymour Art Gallery, North Vancouver; The Polygon Gallery, North Vancouver; and University of Iowa, Iowa City, amongst others. Tergesen’s work was part of Capture’s 2022 Public Art program with an installation at the Marine Drive Canada Line station. She was recently long-listed for the New Generation Photography Prize and was short-listed for the Philip B. Lind Emerging Artist Prize. Tergesen lives and works in Vancouver.
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