Thursday, 16 April 2009


Emeralds by Phyllis Hollinshead (2008) from A wee star coming through, a collection of pharmaceutical products re-labelled with prescriptions for happiness.

Phyllis has transformed a packet of drugs into a little jokey work of art. Using the simple means of re-labelling she has imprinted the drugs with her own identity and with her own personal recipe for happiness: “Get in a bit of mischief.” The handwriting contrasts beautifully against the chilly minimal designs of modern drug packaging. Two more lines add a mystery to her statement- "orangey green every night/emerald tablets.” It sounds as if the tablets for mischief are made from glowing jewels. And mischief should be taken every night! The playfulness of this piece also has a serious side: by re-making her medicines in her own inimitable image, she reclaims her identity. She is not just a medical case, she is a person, with an advanced sense of mischief.

Photo © Lois Blackburn 2009

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