by Olivia Rumsey
The Woman Who Married The Grapefruit // Saudade
There was once a girl. Each day at breakfast she stared upon the grapefruit her grandmother ate whenever she visited. “Oh grandmother, I have never seen anything look so sweet, so appealing as that fruit you eat each day. Please can I try it?” Her grandmother refused. “It might look sweet, but it is sharp and unforgiving on the young tongue. Perhaps when you’re older.” The girl listened but still, she coveted it. She watched her reflection in the mirror behind her grandmother’s head and imagined herself sitting in her place lifting the pink flesh to her mouth. The girl so longed for the taste of it. A taste that didn’t exist as it was conjured up by the girl's imagination. Grapefruits are not for children and yet, as children do, the child grew. Grew into a beautiful young woman. As every story goes, beautiful young women attract suitors. They came from all across the land seeking the hand of the maiden. Every party, dinner and ball she was bombarded by proposals and stares. Those of both lust and jealousy. So persistent were these stares the girl began to shy away. Retract from the parties and dinners and dresses she once dreamed of. Breakfast, as the most intimate and solitary meal of the day, became her favorite. So distressed was she by all this attention, the young woman began to hide even when alone. Even the mirror across from her at the table on those coveted mornings became too much, and she ripped the net curtains from the window, draping the cloth over her head, grasping at any semblance of privacy she could. This was a very lonely way to live, locked away on one’s own. Through the net and lace, the woman had a very limited vision, but inside she was shrouded in the most wonderful glow. So, she lived in there in the excellent light, and then there through the crack, in the fruit bowl, innocuously sat that orange peeled object of her desire. Months had passed since her grandmother’s last visit but still it waited ready for her return. So, in the girl-now-woman, there grew a hunger. Each morning, trying to catch a glimpse between the layers of cloth. Retracting into her hiding when the longing began to pull too strongly at her stomach. One day, years of watching and waiting were too much. In desperation the young woman grabbed the fruit from the bowl, threw back the net curtains she shrouded herself in and devoured the fruit. Her veil caught up in her hair flipped back to reveal her eyes, she drank in the sight as her hands splayed the fruit open. The bitter juices ran down her chin dripping into the fabric of the netting. Splashes of pink blooming across the surface. When she was done, throat stinging, she looked around at the scene she had set. Ripped pink stained fabric. Hair mussed; strands stuck on her sticky face. Hands reddened. A bittersweet taste in her mouth. Finally looking up into the mirror her cheeks were stained red like a blushing bride.
A Mulher Que Se Casou Com a Toranja // Bittersweet
Once upon a time there was a girl. Every day, at breakfast, she looked at the grapefruit that her grandmother ate whenever she visited. “Oh, grandma, I’ve never seen anything as sweet, as attractive as the fruit you eat every day. Can I try?” Her grandmother refused, “It may sound sweet, but it is sharp and unforgiving in the young language. Maybe when you're older." The girl heard it, but still, she lusted after it. She watched her reflection in the mirror behind her grandmother's head and imagined herself sitting in its place with the pink flesh in its mouth. The girl longed to taste it. It existed because it was created by the girl's imagination. Grapefruit is not for children and yet, as children do, the child has grown. It has become a beautiful young woman. As the whole story continues, beautiful young women attract suitors. The land in search of the maiden's hand. At each party, dinner and ball, she was bombarded by proposals and looks. Those of lust and jealousy. So persistent were those looks that the girl started to shy away. Dinners and dresses, she once dreamed of. Breakfast, as the most intimate and lonely meal of the day, became her favorite. You can't live in the morning, so the woman started hiding and hiding. So distressed with all this attention that the young woman started to hide, even when I was alone. Even the mirror in front of her place on the table on those coveted mornings became too much, and she tore the net curtains out of the window, placing the cloth over her head, clinging to any appearance of privacy she could. This was a very lonely way of life, locked up alone. Through the net and income, the woman had a very limited vision, but inside she was enveloped in the most wonderful glow. So, she lived there in the excellent light, and then through the crack, in the fruit bowl, that orange peeled object of desire was innocently sitting. Months have passed since his grandmother's last visit, but he was still waiting for his return. Then, in the girl-now-woman, a hunger grew. Every morning, trying to catch a glimpse between the layers of fabric. Withdrawing into his hiding place when the desire began to pull very hard on his stomach. One day, years of observation and waiting were too much. In desperation, the young woman grabbed the fruit from the bowl, pulled the curtains around it and devoured the fruit. Her veil caught in her hair turned back to reveal her eyes, she drank in the sight while her hands splayed the fruit open. The bitter juice ran down his chin, dripping onto the fabric of the hammock. Splashes of rose blooming on the surface. When she was done, her throat burning, she looked around at the scene she had defined. Torn fabric stained with pink. Disheveled hair: wires stuck to your sticky face. The hands turned red. A bittersweet taste in your mouth. Finally, looking in the mirror, her cheeks were stained red like a flushed bride.
Statement from the Artist
I am an interdisciplinary artist interested in translation, communication and storytelling. I like to think of art as a mode of transportation. In the process of creating, I am often making my own translations between visual work and the written word, using poetics as a tool of communication for things that aren’t so easily expressed.