October 12, 2018


This is the eighth of my 10 pieces to be seen in the War Exhibit commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One. Held at the Sidney Museum, in Sidney BC (Vancouver Island) from October 16 through November 29th, 2018.

Title: Putting Up Preserves
Size: 15 canning jars of various sizes
Materials: hand made books with 15 preserve recipes

A place of pride in every Ukrainian homestead was the root cellar; today it’s called the pantry. The ability to preserve food for the long winter months was crucial to survival – nothing would go to waste. Women canned fruits and vegetables from their garden, fish from the rivers or lakes, and birds and game from the hunt. Improperly sealed jars spelled disaster and were always a danger.

It is hard for us to imagine how the threat of hunger was always present in a world without freezers or refrigeration, where canned foods were a rare novelty and very expensive, if even available. My maternal grandmother always remembered the year her preserves failed, and how the family was saved by the generosity of neighbours. Today, we take for granted the ability to run to the store for anything we need. Then, you depended on community to help you in times of crisis.

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