Produced by SCAPE Public Art, Jacquelyn Greenbank’s Starfruit and Starfruit Fruiterer address perceived gaps in the city’s history and the alienation of a fractured identity in a world of preconceived cultural assumptions.
A Chinese greengrocer called Starfruit Fruiterer operated at 130 Armagh Street during the 1940s and 1950s.
Here at the Museum, Greenbank has reimagined the greengrocer as the artwork Starfruit Fruiterer, filling it with handmade paper fruit created by students from Cathedral Grammar, St Marks and Banks Avenue Schools, and a home-schooled group. The greengrocer’s presence inside the Museum speaks to the important, though often less visible, history of Chinese market gardening and agriculture in Ōtautahi and Aotearoa.
In addition to her Museum work, Starfruit, a flag in unmissable purple, draws attention to the now-vacant site of the original Starfruit Fruiterer on Armagh Street. As in the shop window at the Museum, the flag on Armagh Street is a self-portrait with the artist’s face merged into a starfruit and is used to question identity, creating a human-fruit hybrid of sorts.
About the artist
Jacquelyn Greenbank employs a domestic approach to art making. Using found objects and recycled materials, she meticulously hand crafts objects that capture a moment, sensation, or pseudohistorical event. Through these she inquisitively weaves narratives that often blend social histories and the occult, and popular culture and the paranormal.
Since graduating from the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts with a Distinction in Painting, Greenbank has exhibited in galleries and biennials in New Zealand and internationally. Her work is held in major public and private collections.
Starfruit Fruiterer, 2020/21 is part of SCAPE Public Art 2020: Secrets and Lies, curated by Jamie Hanton.