Mary Pratt R.C.A.

Peaches in a Plastic Pot, 1994

13.5x20.5 in.

Equinox Gallery, Vancouver;
Douglas Udell Gallery, Edmonton;
Private collection, Edmonton

The early 1990s were a period of reflection and re-assessment for Mary Pratt. After nearly forty years of marriage, the tensions and influences of which had infiltrated her art for decades, she and her husband Christopher Pratt separated. On her own for the first time, her career was flourishing, and she approached her subject matter with the new context of independence (1). As a young mother at the beginning of her career, Pratt’s subjects often referenced her busy family life: the dishes leftover from Sunday dinner, or the eggshells leftover from a big breakfast. Peaches in a Plastic Pot is a wonderful contrast, and fine example of Pratt’s mature career. Here we have an image approached with order and calm, a simple tupperware container of fruit turned into something magnificent, glowing in the light of a gently fading sun.

1. Tom Smart, Mary Pratt: The Substance of Light, p. 131

Mary Pratt was born in 1935 in Fredericton, New Brunswick. As a fine arts student at Mount Allison University, Pratt was mentored by Alex Colville. Mary Pratt’s work represented a snapshot of a woman’s domestic life, creating highly realistic and dramatic still life works that were inspired by her surroundings.…