I watched Grayson Perry’s Art Club and one of the (many) things that touched me was a mosaic of a single sherbet lemon. If you’d seen it in a gallery you might have thought “mmm, nice” in a vague way, or lingered a little longer if you’re especially into mosaic or sherbet lemons.

What made it so moving, memorable and multi layered was the story. It was made with great fondness in memory of a man who worked in the NHS who died in the first wave of COVID, his name is Colin. He would always carry sweets in his pockets to hand to friends or strangers or anyone who looked like they needed reminding of kindness. This is the magic of metaphor in art, it can hold so much from the deeply personal to the
expansive and existential.

That sherbet lemon is a memory, an artwork of beauty, a reminder of kindness. It also has room for your personal associations, spending your pocket money and watching them transported from jars into paper bags, a reminder of when the sherbet bursts out of its lemon coating, Dumbledore’s password… so much in a little sweet and a courageous woman who took the time to make it.

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