20cm x 20cm x 24cm
2 - 3 weeks
Fossil vegetable lamps are created as a reminder of humanities possible extinction and the reduction of varieties of fruits and vegetables that we have already been experiencing over the last years.
Vegetables are part of our daily life, we take them for granted thinking there is an endless supply…. what if that is not the case? What if we know that already thousands of varieties of fruits and vegetables have disappeared. What can we do to help?
Having lived in Canada and the United States for most of my life, residing in the Italian countryside has exposed me to new and simple pleasures: freshly harvested brown and oyster mushrooms, stems still coated in dirt; tangy lemons plucked from the tree, the air wafting with a zesty fragrance released by the lightest touch; red beans couched in magenta-spotted pods. Stepping away from urban centers—where markets are perennially flush with greenhouse produce or international imports—I remember the terrestrial cycles that govern animals and plants that were familiar to my ancestors who farmed the Italian countryside.
For millennia, artistic representations of food have exposed a dialectic between abundance and waste, mimetic preservation and mnemonics of decay. I am embracing the historical use of painted vegetables on ceramics found in my grandfathers hometown of Nove, Veneto, which is where these artworks are made. I work with a glaze specialist Ruggero Carlesso from Nove. His father and grandfather has specialized in glazes for generations.
In an interview in 2017, Stephen Hawking said that humanity faces a survival crisis… that it is so severe that in the next hundred years, either humanity will be extinct or we will have to escape from the earth and colonies other planets.
“More than 90 percent of crop varieties have disappeared; some 75 percent of plant genetic diversity has been pushed to extinction by the monocultures of the mechanical mind. We are living in the age of the sixth extinction; this is the moment where we need to rejuvenate biodiversity on our farms and in our fields, in our kitchens and on our plates, to address the climate crisis, the health crisis, the crisis of corporate control over our food.” – Vandana Shiva
Proceeds of each purchase for Seasonal will be given to Seed Banks across the globe to help replenish seeds if they haven’t become extinct from natural or man-made disasters. One of the organizations is Navdanya which is founded by Vandana Shiva in India. This is an organization that proceeds of the artwork will be supporting.
The left over parts of the vegetables we do not use are fed to the chickens who live in the backyard of the factory in Nove, Veneto.
For the packaging, the Verza Fossil lamps will arrive in a thick layer cardboard box. The artwork is wrapped in discarded hemp fabrics and 100% wool felt from Lake Como. The box contains biodegradable foam packaging which is 100% compostable and non-toxic. It uses corn starch and offers exceptional cushioning properties while also protecting the planet. You can run it under tap water in your kitchen to dissolve the material.
Friendly note: Felt is a wonderful material which can be repurposed to make a wall hanging as it is sound absorbing, or you can use it as a mat for your computer, or seat cushion — to name a few ideas.
The lightbulb is purchased separately and you can use any manufacturer you would like — just make sure it is a mirror LED bulb! As per the color temperature, I would recommend 2700k.
Example: Osram Mirror LED