McKenna lives and works in Italy and likes to set up still lifes in his studio. In 1995 he took a teaching post at the Hochschüle für Bildende Künste at Braunschweig in Germany, and a studio was provided with the job. Knowing that this new studio would be rather bare, the artist took these baskets with him from Italy in order to have a familiar subject to begin work on. McKenna bought these three baskets in Calabria, in Southern Italy, with a view to using them in his pictures. The baskets are typically used to sieve or dry food, pasta for example.