Not a very successful still life experiment, but an experiment nonetheless.
Sketches and Experiments
When my mum was pregnant with me, my dad - with much hyperbole - claimed that all my mum ate/ever wanted to eat/voraciously demanded to eat was lanzones. He would find their peels, stems, and seeds all over the house and underneath the bed they both shared.
In Philippine culture/superstition, it is said that the child would take on the qualities of whatever food their mother craved/ate the most when pregnant with that child. Lanzones (or langsat in Malaysia) is a spotty, pear-shaped fruit roughly the size of a large kumquat, with a suede-like exterior peel dotted with dark spots that look like jersey cow's spots. The peels sometimes emit a sticky sap - white and bittersweet - and its fruit is the colour of a moonstone - translucent and milky white. The fruit is perfectly sectioned, much like a mandarin orange. Its flavour is unlike anything I have ever tasted (spoiler alert: it is ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS), but I would say its flavour is like a cross between a lychee and orange blossom water. Each moonstone-coloured section may or may not contain a seed; if you happen to accidentally chomp on a seed, it is usually soft - not hard - and can be quite bitter.
I am not entirely sure if I fit any of this fruit's qualities, but because the story of my mother gorging herself on only lanzones when she was pregnant with me became pretty much a running story my father would keep telling me as a child, this fruit bears near-mythological significance to me. Now, after over two decades of not having any lanzones, I came across it at my workplace, and had my first taste after a very, very long while. I got very emotional eating it; this fruit, along with a handful of other tropical fruits native to the Philippines, makes up most of my childhood sensory memories.
I bought the last 300 grams of the stuff and brought it over to my partner. My heart leapt with joy when I witnessed his eyes roll back in pleasure as he tasted it. The closest description he can come up with to describe the taste of lanzones is [and these are his words] "It's like... if a grape and an orange had sex". Hahaha!
Anyway, sharing the lanzones with him is a huge deal for me. In the few relationships I had over the course of my life, I have always let my culture drift quietly into the background - mentioned and talked about only anecdotally. I have been so guilty of treating my cultural heritage as a novelty. What can I say? I am a product of my colonizers. I have long since taken this very important part of me seriously, and while I have generations of learning and rediscovery to catch up on, I can at least use my culture's food as a bridge to that path. And the great thing is... I have found a partner so willing to share in that journey with me. I love that about him.
'Been thinking a lot about what it is I really want to say, and what kind of work I am interested in making. This is the result of my thought process. Gender, sex, what queer-ness means to me. I do not exactly fit in these heteronormative boxes... but am I allowed to call myself queer when I am only just beginning to discover the fluidity of my sexuality?
I am in love again... but he is not your typical male. He is... something else... and I love that about him. So if not him... and if I have sworn off the typical CIS male... suddenly, the world of possible partners for me has just opened up and... I feel very at home with that idea. The same things will apply if things with him do not work out: intellectual chemistry, pheromones and chemical compatibility, value systems... etc. etc. etc..
Who knows? Right now, queer-ness is more me than just "straight woman". Let's see where this takes me and my relationship with my lover.
Someone very dear to me gifted me a new camera for my birthday.
This camera is a game-changer.
I am now the owner of a Canon 5DS-R.
This is my first experimental shot with said camera.