mcCaughy Modern Apothocary

Modern Apothecary: Cabinet of Delights  mixed media sculpture  50 x 14 x 12″  $500


My work reflects my desire to attend to and decode my dialogue with place, particularly with the natural world. The natural environment is full of opportunities for decoding – even the smallest, most humble elements hold vast potential for investigation. I consider my work to be a visual record of an unscripted dialogue between the constructed and the natural world.

I construct boxes in which I arrange found objects to represent or evoke a memory of my experience of specific place. These boxes are typically small in scale and contain objects collected on site. However, after reading The Book of Delights by Ross Gay (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2019), I considered a different type of box: one that could evoke delight in others, on demand, even during tragic times.

I began by asking people to collect and send me descriptions of everyday delights – handwritten – to discover what small, joyful things people encounter every day. These handwritten slips of paper became the source for the design of a modern apothecary cabinet.

Based on a traditional apothecary cabinet, this set of two plywood boxes was designed around the dimensions of their contents: objects associated with everyday delights. It includes items that evoke taste, including whiskey, maple syrup, and tea; scent, including sawdust, coffee, and laundry detergent.   Drawers include objects to assist in the pursuit of other delights, such as observing birds, clouds, or big trains, making art, waking up early, or tending a garden of yellow flowers.


My hope is that this modern apothecary and its contents could be used/consumed to elicit delight during dark times.



Linda McConaughy