CAJU / KASHU / CAYÚ is an installation specifically made for the Harlesden location of the gallery space Harlesden High Street. In this body of work Franca uses images of fruits in the form of symbols that are common on parts of the continent of South America and the Caribbean. The title CAJU / KASHU / CAYÚ refers to the many ways the same fruits within different South American and Caribbean cultures are known by different names. Using the Anacardium Occidentale also known as the cashew tree as a symbol of collective memory and underlying cultural connections.

Exploring High Street where the gallery is located remotely from the Netherlands through the aid of Google search, Google Maps and Google Images in combination with her own archival photographs, Franca created a body of work consisting of works on paper, sculptures, images and audio. Using multiple images of grocery shops on High Street via Google Maps and zooming in on the display of fruits outside of these shops, reminding her of fruits used as symbols in historical still life paintings. She further delves into the symbolism used within still life paintings by displaying different uses of textile in combination with photographs of fruits, where her sculptures then function as sculptural forms of iconography taking inspiration from the Brazilian 19th century still life painter Agostinho José da Mota. Seeing places such as grocery shops in multicultural neighbourhoods and marketplaces as places of exchange within different cultures, Franca created an audio piece consisting of recordings of different markets in the multicultural city of Rotterdam and the floating market of Curaçao in the Caribbeans. Curaçaoan natives recognize these fruits in Agostinho José da Mota’s paintings by their names in Papiamentu. A language spoken on the island of Curaçao, where Franca’s family is also from. Showing the mutual bonds in terms of (food) culture between South America and the Caribbean and the importance of cultural and generational exchange.

Taking the opportunity to create a place where people inhabiting these places of cultural richness on a western continent could come into a gallery space and be able to ‘read’ the works as a collective language. Creating a space for a wide audience and displaying connections between different South American and Caribbean cultures living in Harlesden, as a means of showing common ground. With this work, Franca furthers her interest in the ever fluid state of languages, traditions and (digital representations of) objects in a state of flux.

Satin Silk, Voile, Oil Pastel, C-type, Polymer
155 x 193 cm

Close Up - Carambola

Size variable

Close Up - Fruteria

Satin Silk, Voile, Oil Pastel, C-type, Polymer 
167 x 73 cm

Close Up - Awakati/Skopapel

C-type, Oil Pastel
20 x 15.5 cm

Palu di Kashu
Voile, Oil Pastel, C-type, Polymer
54 x 48 cm

Close Up - Palu di Kashu

Image credits: photo by Luchandro Franca, 2022

Installation view: CAJU / KASHU / CAYÚ, Harlesden High Street, London

Image courtesy of Harlesden High Street, London, 2022