Grenadine 2011

Hyla Willis
Sites of Passage: Egypt and the US, September 9, 2011 – February 12, 2012
video, paint, sandpaper

Grenade is the French word for pomegranate Grenadine is a blood-red syrup originally made from pomegranate juice and sugar Pomegranates are native to Iran...


Grenade is the French word for pomegranate. Grenadine is a blood-red syrup originally made from pomegranate juice and sugar. Pomegranates are native to Iran and have been cultivated in Egypt since they were introduced by Hyksos invaders in the 1600s BCE. Spanish invaders brought pomegranate plants to “The New World” in the 1500s CE. Throughout human history and in nearly all religions, the pomegranate has been an important symbol of fertility and a vital medicinal food.




Curated by Tavia La Follette

Artist Statement

“Don’t use the pomegranate inhospitably, a stranger that has come so far to pay his respects to thee. Plant it against the side of thy house, nail it close to the wall. In this manner it thrives wonderfully with us, and flowers beautifully, and bears fruit this hot year. I have twenty-four on one tree… Doctor Fothergill says, of all trees this is most salutiferous to mankind.” —English Quaker Peter Collinson in a 1762 letter to botanist John Bartram of Philadelphia.

About the Artist

Hyla Willis is an artist and designer working across a wide range of media. She is a co-founding member of subRosa, a mutable (cyber)feminist art collective who explore and critique the intersections of information and bio-technologies on women’s bodies, lives and work. Since 1998, subRosa has created open-ended environments where participants engage with objects, texts and digital technologies. With subRosa, Willis has performed, exhibited, and lectured in the USA, Spain, Britain, the Netherlands, Germany, Croatia, Macedonia, Mexico, Canada, Slovenia, and Singapore, and has received many commissions for this work, two Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowships in New Genres, a Creative Capital grant in Emerging Fields, and is a former fellow of the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University. She is Professor of Media Arts at Robert Morris University. Born in Yuba City, California.