For some time now, I have wanted to include, in some way, my herb garden and my love of gardening into my art practice. Ideas have come and gone, but none have taken hold.
A few weeks ago, and at short notice, I was invited to submit work to an exhibition selling artists' multiples. The usual things came to mind, mainly badge making, but then I remembered I had a recipe to make Lemon Verbena Lemonade - an old fashioned drink -and outside in the garden was planted a Lemon Verbena plant. So, that would be my 'multipe' - bottles of Lemon Verbena Lemonade.
The recipe included sugar, which would keep the drink fresh for a while, but the show lasted a month, and I thought the drink might go stale, or even turn bad. Emailing a friend who is a chef, he told me that if I put some Vodka in the drink, it would keep forever. Thus over the following days and nights, experiments were held in the kitchen involving lemons, sugar, the Lemon Verbena plant and large amounts of vodka, to devise a recipe. Eventually, after many tastings, a light refreshing drink (with a bit of a kick) was ready for the exhibition. From a local supermarket I bought 30 bottles containing a mushroom gravy, (the bottles looked perfect for the drink) poured the gravy away, and filled the bottles up with Lemon Verbena with Vodka. Steve Johnson not only designed a beautiful label featuring photos of the garden, but suggested that perhaps there could be other products I could market.
I have thought seriously about his suggestion, and next summer could see the launch of other products involving herbs, soups, and perhaps biscuits.