Food Art: Preserving Memories - Y Magazine
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Memory Preserves 

A quilt made from dried flowers is draped over a clear chair in an art gallery
In her quilt-like piece Pietà, student artist Sara Lindsay likens the ephemeral nature of flowers and food to the brevity of the Savior’s life on earth. In both cases, she says, the promise of restoration is certain: the flowers bloom again, just as Christ lives again. Photo by Bradley Slade.

Artist and recent grad Sara Crockett Lindsay (MFA ’22) has always been a gatherer. As a young mother on a tight budget, Lindsay began collecting and preserving the fruit that fell from her neighbors’ apricot trees. Now a mother of six pursuing her passion for art, she uses drying, canning, and cooking techniques to preserve natural materials for her artwork: “My studio has become a kitchen, with pots and ingredients,” she says. 

This quilt, part of Lindsay’s MFA thesis exhibition this spring, was made from preserved flower petals. She coated the petals with pectin and sugar—the same ingredients she used in her apricot jam—to get them the right consistency for sewing into quilt squares. Then she stored the squares in plastic bags with pieces of bread to keep them from becoming brittle before she sewed them together. In some cases, she added vinegar to preserve the petals’ vibrant color. 

The show featured other flower-encrusted creations, including several child-sized dresses coated in a mix of petals and gelatin—a technique she developed by armoring oven mitts in hibiscus flowers, roses, and walnut husks. Of the gloves, Lindsay says, “That’s my self-portrait: this real tough, preserving mom.”