The Domestic Fealty Collection
 
daschund dog head rose worried dog gold dog rose text
running cocker who's dog is it sovereign fealty poodle
john rose
high spot
collar delphatic
red j

The majority of The Domestic Fealty Collection came to our attention by chance within a large, anonymous donation, primarily of household furnishings. It is rumored to have been painstakingly collected by a well known connoisseur, but we currently have no documentation of this and cannot verify any claims of provenance. Other, similar artifacts were sought at auction to augment the understanding of the collection we have amassed for public edification and enjoyment today.

Research indicates that the pieces date from the mid 20th century, but because of the fragmentary nature of these commercially produced items, we can make no more accurate or authoritative identification at this time. Factory and painter’s marks may provide clues to origin, but are no guarantee, as many quality copies are known to have been made and marks forged.

The importance of this collection is manifold in our understanding of the aspirations of the period. The recognition of ‘fealty’ as key, was a significant breakthrough in our investigation and provides some clue to the aura of the collector as revealed in the collection. Truly a temporal meditation, there are also references in the collection iconography to genetic engineering, sexual politics, colonialism, nationalism, and as is evidenced specifically in its predominantly fragmentary nature, environmental responsibility. Although loss is indicative, the devotion with which the collection was assembled is evident. A question we continue to struggle with however, is the cost of this fealty and its value today.

The Hope Institute has produced this collection of faithful reproductions not as an appendage to The Domestic Fealty Collection, but as its current apogee. It is our hope that the Institute’s public may have the privilege of sharing in the wonder of this collection of miniatures through the purchase of reproductions of some, if not all of our souvenir cards. It is imagined that in the comfort of their own homes, they may gaze in intimate communion with these marvelous specimens of period ornamental naturalia and know something of those aspects of fealty that captured the spirit of the previous century. Proceeds from the purchase of these souvenir cards will be used to augment The Domestic Fealty Collection and ensure its survival in perpetuity.

A catalogue raisonné of The Domestic Fealty Collection is currently being compiled by myself in conjunction with eminent scholars in this area. References alluded to in this initial introduction will be fully available in the complete publication.

Curator’s notes: M. Rosa Chien M.F.A., K. Sueno
Hope Institute, Port Hope, Ontario, Canada.
All rights Reserved
.

 

  The Domestic Fealty Collection
    Loop Gallery, August 24- September 17, 2005

    gallery

In The Domestic Fealty Collection Liz offers a proto-museum, a shard filled cabinet of curiosity that visitors may search through to choose pieces for themselves or for display on the gallery shelves. For sale, just outside the intimate cabinet room, are museum-like haute-kitsch collectible souvenir postcards depicting chosen elements from The Domestic Fealty Collection.

As her Curator suggests in the accompanying didactic text, The Domestic Fealty Collection is: Truly a temporal meditation, there are also references in the collection iconography to genetic engineering, sexual politics, colonialism, nationalism, and as is evidenced specifically in its predominantly fragmentary nature, environmental responsibility. Although loss is indicative, the devotion with which the collection was assembled is evident. A question we continue to struggle with however, is the cost of this fealty and its valuation today.

Otherwise, Liz Parkinson wonders why we choose and keep the things we do.

 

    shard table

    blue visitor

 

China Bower
                
 2004-2010

 

The Garden Paradise is an illusive construct of memory created from experience and a dream of perfection. It is a glimpse of the world that is infinitely variable and individually selected to include only those aspects most desired. Imagined in perpetual bloom, it is a focus of unattainable longing. It provides pleasure to the senses and the soul and helps to define the self.

Garden

As part of Harbourfront Toronto’s Artist Gardens, I created a fragment of paradise. A larger paradise was implied by the overscaled, but truncated drawing in broken china of a foliage pattern that filled the plot: This Paradise could continue but for car parks, paved walkways and roads. In my garden paradise lay a white china bower: a dwelling, an inner room, a female space closed-in with foliage. The bower read virginal white glistening in the sunlight, but closer scrutiny revealed the contradiction of colourful patterns in permanent blooms painted on the china fragments. The bower form echoed the painted rose foliage on its shattered surface and the rose bushes it reached towards. Fragrant thyme and soft mosses grew over the bower in the summer hiding the sharp shards and promising a comforting green and delicately floral bed. In the winter the white, sharp and floral painted garden of shards bloomed again.
 








The Harbourfront site is located on nineteenth century Toronto landfill. Broken crockery is often unearthed in such locations. In old neighbourhoods shards emerge unchanged as soil is disturbed with renovation and garden cultivation. Although broken, the charm of their floral patterns remain, but they are also reminders of once chosen, impossible ideals. At the Harbourfront site people would often sift through the shards as at an archaelogical dig, seeking connection in familiar patterns—a mother’s or grandmother’s china—a small, sharp reminder of home. I needed to regularly replenish the broken shards as members of the public collected both mementos of the past in their own ‘paradise’ and souvenirs of their day at Harbourfront.

 


Late August


Full Bloom


Rose petals


Roses and Rose Petals


Found Adventurer

China Bower was removed in 2010 because of the need for more parking. I would love another opportunity to plant a paradise garden.

24 shards

Recent additions to Identification Collection. All paintings 3" x 3"
 
 
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