Blackberries are commonly associated with loss, sorrow and remorse, but for the artist, the fruit presents a more positive, individual reading. It represents a personal mnemonic catalyst that draws him back to the hot summers of his youth and the stonewalled garden of his parental home, overgrown with wild blackberry bushes. The sharp taste of the blackberry symbolises a childhood whose unfolding lay in the still-distant future. He refers to the fruit as his ‘Proustian Madeleine’, a symbolic object whose consumption induces a free fall into remembrance of the past.
The sculpture shows three unfeasibly large blackberries displayed on a pedestal; both the fruit and the support are the same grey colour as if a layer of dust had literally been blown over the memory. The artist therefore links memory with scale, a recurring feature in many of his works. When size is drastically increased it results in gigantism; this can instil feelings of awe – engendered by the romantic sublime – or fear of a physical threat, depending on the object selected. Contrariwise, to be overcome by giant soft fruit is of course bathetic – an instance where gigantism instigates humour and ridicule.