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Item Name: Painting
Title: Avocado and White Hyacinth
Maker: Connie Freedy
Year: 1985
Country: Canadian
Materials: gouache; oil pastel
Measurements: in frame: 62 cm x 82.5 cm; work: 49 cm x 63.5 cm
ID Number: ART 207
Legal Status: ART RENTAL

Extended Label Info: In this still life, Connie Freedy uses oil pastel and gouache to deftly capture a simple image of sliced avocado and a potted hyacinth. The term, “still life” derives from the Dutch word “stilleven” and refers to a type of subject matter, a selection of objects arranged on a tabletop such as fruit, flowers, dishes, or small objects. Though this imagery can be seen depicted by many cultures, the “still life” gained recognition as a genre in Western painting during the 16th century, when it was popularized by Dutch artists whose work commented allegorically on the rise of materialism. In the 18th century, French artist Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin simplified the still life genre into an aesthetic study of objects. Chardin often painted utilitarian kitchen items, finding beauty in modest places. This composition by Connie Freedy has similar qualities. In her arrangement of two ordinary items on a plain countertop, subdued greys and greens are punctuated with touches of bright orange and yellow, and the wide, loosely painted brush strokes fill the frame with a sense of energy. Connie Freedy (1944- ) was born in Cutknife, Saskatchewan. She studied in Saskatoon at the University of Saskatchewan and earned two successive Bachelor of Arts degrees in 1967 and 1968. Freedy’s work as a painter is closely tied to her life in Northern Saskatchewan. She grew up on a farm, raising chickens, and growing a garden. She also raised her children on a farm, teaching them the arts of baking and pickling. Freedy’s love of art and food came together in 1979, when she moved with her family to the south of France for a year. Studying painting and art history with her partner, the entire family fell in love with French culture and food. Returning to live in Prince Albert, Freedy continued to paint, and also earned her Red Seal certification in pastry arts. Today she shares ownership of the award-winning restaurant, the Yellow Fender Coffeehouse and Eatery in Christopher Lake with her daughter Heidi O'Brodovich. Freedy's artwork has been exhibited in group and solo exhibitions in Saskatchewan and Alberta. Her work is represented in the collections of the Saskatchewan Arts Board, Mendel Art Gallery Collection at Remai Modern (Saskatoon), Mann Art Gallery (Prince Albert), and Dunlop Art Gallery (Regina).