Tara Deacon is a South African Illustrator living and working in Berlin. Her paintings reflect a nostalgic mix of memory, place and daily life reflections. Her work often explores themes from her place of birth, images populated by the fruits, plants, characters and light of her homeland.
“Sometimes it's useless to add embelishment."
A spanish word to describe vegetable ivory, corozo (or tagua) is the fleshy interior of the ivory palm fruit - called endosperm - originally from the Amazonian forest. It can be sculpted, changed and polished as easily as ivory. Corozo was first discovered in 1798 by Spanish explorers Hipólito Ruiz López and José Antonio Pavón who set out to explore the Peruvian jungle of the upper Amazon. They discovered that the first people to use the palm fruit to create jewellery and objects were the Quechua Indians. Fishermen also worked with corozo, creating small receptacles and snuff boxes. In 1865, a steamer left Esmeraldas in Ecuador for Hamburg with cargos of tagua on board. The Germans then discovered the vegetable ivory and began making buttons and small ornaments such as dice, thimbles, needle sheaths, jewellery and drawer knobs.