Offering an escape from our everyday routines, When Flowers Dream transport the viewers to otherworldly places. Vibrant, eye-popping creations resemble fantastic plants, strange rock formations or coral reefs. Step into fanciful landscapes resembling marshmallows, Turkish delight and mochi. Think of retro candy like fruit jellies, fizz balls and pear drops.
This exciting exhibit is a work of the Australian artist Tanya Schultz (Pip & Pop) and her team. In collaboration with Kew Gardens plant scientists and volunteers the artist created a futuristic food utopia. There is more to it than its eye-candy aesthetics. Among the fantastical creations there are objects based on the shapes of rare fruits and vegetables. These plants could become the key in the fight against the food crisis. In the not-so-distant future all of us have to face food scarcity due to climate change and plant diseases affecting key plant crops across the globe. The artist brings attention to the plants described in the exhibit as ‘foods of the future’, such as the fruits of the sausage tree, mock strawberry or snake cucumber.
Pip & Pop’s visual language is based on calm pastel colours and occasional splashes of neon. A whole variety of shapes, textures and materials are at play. Clay, sugar mixed with pigments, and shiny glitter allow the artist to create candy dreamlands. Interesting-looking foods and objects found during travels are all sources of inspiration for the artist.
Imagined landscapes, worlds described in myths, legends and folktales from around the world are brought to you in a rainbow-coloured sugar coating. In the classic tale of Hansel and Gretel the siblings encounter a gingerbread house in the woods. Legendary stories of magical lands of plenty go back to times of food scarcity. What often happens in those stories is that once the protagonists leave the utopian cities, they can never go back or even find it again.
Because the sculptures in this exhibit incorporate sugar, their lifespan is quite limited. Pip & Pop’s site-specific installations and their temporary nature encourage us to experience and appreciate these artworks in the present moment, but also to contemplate the fleeting nature of everything around us.
When Flowers Dream is on display until 5 March 2023 at Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art, located at London’s Kew Gardens.
Link to artist’s website: https://www.pipandpop.com.au/
Link to exhibition website: https://www.kew.org/kew-gardens/whats-on/food-forever/pip-and-pop-when-flowers-dream
Love love love this. Thank you. What a delight.
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Thanks for stopping by! Glad you enjoyed the featured exhibit.