Nigel Haworth, OCA student work

24th February 2020

Look at the unlikely arrangement of objects in Nigel Haworth’s photograph. Old fruit, a chopping board and pregnancy tests hang in unlikely juxtaposition. Can you perceive the theme of infertility?

OCA Foundations in Photography Course Folder pg127

Nigel Haworth, OCA student
Image from Foundations in Photography course folder pg 127

Can I perceive the theme of infertility? Yes I can, for me I have interpreted the image as:

  • Apples: Symbol for love and fertility. These apples are rotten so they symbolise a rotten womb or rotten female egg – infertility.
  • The lemon is present as a symbol for bitterness and disappointment. It could also represent the saying, ‘a right lemon’ which would then mean it would represent the fact that the women is defective or imperfect, a dud and cannot bear children. – The kit next to the lemon on it’s right is definitely a ‘no pregnancy’ reading, so this would then indeed fit with the lemon being a symbol of bitter disappointment.
  • The pregnancy test kits The first three tests have two faint lines which means the test is inconclusive and the fourth has only the one line and there is definitely a ‘no’ pregnancy result.
  • The knife is a very powerful symbol. There are quite a few I can see here. It could be used as a symbol to cut the ties of the fruit and the pregnancy kits which would represent the cutting of the umbilical chord or the bonds between wanting a baby and being able to have one. It is therefore saying, ‘severance, death’ to be set free from the burden.

I like the colours that the photographer has used. It is very reminiscent of the still life paintings of the 17th Century which were very brown and neutral in colours they would also contain hidden symbols for death in the form of a knife or skull as well as apples and often lemons.

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