A Trespassers Guide to Prelapsarian Fruits

A Trespasser’s Guide to Prelapsarian Fruits is taken from the artist’s series of collaged Cosmiquilts. Like universes in patchwork form, each of these quilts shows an imagined future, cobbled together from pieces of the past: colonial landscapes, Netherlandish paintings, Golden Age still lives. Here, the Trespasser, that cunning character whose existence relies upon the popular delusion of private property, makes their way through a labyrinthine landscape. They are following a map. It leads them to enclosed gardens, the grand estates of the future, where water is hoarded to satiate the kitchen gardens and laden orchards of those who live inside the walls. Apples, Pears, Peaches, Lemons: these are the Prelapsarian Fruits, or fruits from before the Fall. From the seventeenth century, as agricultural pressures increased, huge swathes of English land were enclosed, and the common rights that people held over farmlands were removed. Agricultural land, the pastoral landscape, came to be defined less by bee-loud wildflowers and overburdened fruit trees and more by fences and walls. History has an unsettling habit of repeating itself.

Bethany van Rijswijk


Archival print of hand cut collage on paper