Place Setting

Meals do more than bring us into conversation and keep us fed.

Place Setting (2019/2023) is a functional installation of handmade utensils, plates, bowls, napkins and table decorations that were conceived as a reflection on Massachusetts in springtime. Featuring handles of maple branches, the flatware in this two-person dining set are presented as scent diffusers, soaked in a hydrosol concentrated from leaves gathered along the Mystic River Greenway and propped up by a ceramic lattice structure in each soup bowl. At the time of dining the lattice structure inverts to hold candles infused with the same scent, and the hydrosol transfers to a reed diffuser centerpiece.

Activated at the table or viewed with select components in the gallery, the irregular sensory elements of Place Setting are an invitation to consider all that our meals connect us to; the land where the food was cultivated, the organisms that contributed to the nutrients, the shared traditions of cultural heritage and more. In the words of Rachel Carson, "The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe around us, the less taste we shall have for destruction."

Place Setting: Picnic
2019, installation variation 2023
Maple and brass flatware, ceramic salad plates, cloth napkins, found tray


Climate Change: Creating Conversations on a Global Crisis, Multicultural Arts Center (Cambridge, MA), curated by Martha Heller and Adriana G. Prat for i3C Artists | View the virtual exhibition.