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The peaches you were probably saving for breakfast

For painter and sculptor, Jahnne Pasco-White, poetry and painting go hand in hand. We recently became the proud owners of her work ‘The peaches you were probably saving for breakfast’. The title comes from the poem ‘This is just to say’ by William Carlos Williams. Her substitution of the ‘plum’ for ‘peach’ comes from a poem by Australian modernist poet John Forbes, called ‘A bad day’ that itself references Williams’ poem.

This sampling and cross-referencing is similar to Jahnne’s painting process. She’ll go for walks and collect things that she can incorporate into her work. She is particularly interested in mixing materials that don’t traditionally go together, like wax and paint, as well as doing away with the prescribed use of materials and objects, pushing them to do things they aren’t supposed to do. “[E]ach work that I do, in terms of its material value is an experiment.”

She tries to “get to the heart of the material”. Strip it back, rip it up, make papier maché of a painting and add it to another painting… It’s about the cycle of the painting as well as breaking down materials and reinventing them. The materials are to be exhausted. Jahnne wants to push them, to saturate them and destroy them. The exposed linen in ‘The peaches you were probably saving for breakfast’ is evidence of her ‘holding back’.

Colour wise, Jahnne also references the things around her. She finds an unlikely beauty in her warehouse studio in Brunswick, Melbourne, where she is surrounded by industrial objects and building materials. It is the colour of these objects that she is drawn to – certain palates and colour combinations, mainly blues and turquoise. Like that lovely aqua green on those doors you can get in Bunnings; the ones that seem to be in all the new houses.

Jahnne doesn’t think of her paintings as abstract. Many of her works are based on her drawings and photographs, which she builds up in layers of materials and colour. They morph into shapes and become part of the composition. But to Jahnne they are still her drawings.

This depth of layers is obvious in ‘The peaches you were probably saving for breakfast’ – layers and layers of painted linen, oil paint, acrylic paint, wax, pencil and plaster.

‘The peaches you were probably saving for breakfast’ is hung in the Monster kitchen and bar; in the Hotel Hotel public lounge.

‘This is just to say’
by William Carlos Williams

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold


‘A bad day’
by John Forbes

‘Everything depends on the context’
I consoled my revolutionary
dying behind
the red wheelbarrow section
of our barricade.

I’m sorry
you ate the full-
color photo
of peaches
in our refridgerator.
Glue and paper taste horrible
and no doubt
you’ll be very sick.

'The peaches you were probably saving for breakfast' by Jahnne Pasco-White, 2015

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