This catalogue was published to coincide with the artist's solo exhibition Hunter Gatherer 4 - 28 November 2009.
Jane Edden came across a series of empty boxes in an antique dealer. They had once belonged to the Economic Botany Collection at Kew Gardens and, although empty, had labels that told of curious objects and plants. The contents had been collected approximately a century ago, and ranged from the familiar plants of everyday life to objects and plants totally unknown to the artist.
After realising that the original boxes must remain ‘empty’ in spirit, Edden decided to represent the missing contents of the boxes with an impression made from fine white plaster. Inspired by the labels, Edden wanted to interpret their descriptions but also to maintain a sense of absence; to capture within the boxes a combined sense of discovery and loss.
The age of the boxes is betrayed by their condition. Bubbles and imperfections punctuate the glass, which varies slightly in hue, and the paper that covers the boxes has in some areas had to be replaced. The artists has used archival materials to carry out these restorations, believing the original fabric of the boxes to be integral to their capacity for future storytelling.
This publication is a record of this project.