Over the past few weeks an empty shopfront amongst the car parks and shopping complexes of Gawler Place has been given a dramatic makeover. Get close enough and you'll see a vividly-hued sugary wonderland, a 'landscape' full of crystalline mountains, candied sands, glittering dunes and sparkling lights that dances across the imagination and entices the eye far and wide.
The ‘wonderland’ is an installation called Pleasure Grounds, slowly assembled as part of Come Out Festival by acclaimed creative Pip and Pop (aka Tanya Schultz) in collaboration with five local Adelaide artists.
“I was inspired by creation myths, stories about the beginning of the world from different cultures. I also love stories about paradise and utopia, particularly the mythologies about lands made of food,” Schultz tells Rip It Up of the Pleasure Grounds piece. “There’s a French story in particular that talks of streets lined with pastry, roofs made of barley sugar, and I think I was inspired by those kinds of thoughts.”
Created using over 300kg of dyed caster sugar, Pip and Pop’s artistic method involves carefully funneling sugar to create intricate, brightly coloured 'worlds'. These are then bolstered with various objects, including pipe cleaners, whizzing spheres, handcrafted ‘flowers’ and tiny light bulbs. A fun colour pallete and an underpinning idea of fantasy are both prevalent themes in Pip and Pop's works, each of her 'worlds' always containing a hidden surprise to act as a subtle narrative device.
"In my last work I had been inspired by a story about a frog who lived in a well and refused to come out to see the world outside. Eventually some birds come into the well and take him out and he ends up being amazed of all the colours and sights and smells that he sees. I placed a little frog in the artwork when I finished it, and I guess that was an amusing touch for me knowing he was there."
For Pleasure Grounds Schultz enlisted the nimble fingerwork of local artists Jemimah Davis, Alex Bishop-Thorpe, Bridgette Minuzzo, Amy Joy Watson and Aurelia Carbone to help out. Over the weeks the team of creatives carefully worked together resulting in a smorgasboard of Pip and Pop's signature style with incorporated machinery, gadgets, balsa wood, prisms, folded paper and even a bubble machine. The collaborative project was put together by Carclew as part of their Public Art Program.
Funnily enough, despite her lengthy career working with sugar Schultz doesn't actually have a sweet tooth.
"I like chocolate, but I don't really like lollies. Apart from using them as art materials!"
Pleasure Grounds will be on display at 38 Gawler Plc until Wed Jun 12.
WHERE: 38 Gawler Plc, Adelaide
WHEN: Until Wed Jun 12
Image: Selena Battersby