'Sugar in Status'
My Unit 3 Art final concerns itself primarily with the cultural obsession to preserve things of value, seen through a historical context. The lavish gold and glass chandelier brings to mind the idea of wealth and excess power, which is ultimately undercut by the ephemeral sugar used to construct the flowers, crystals, and dripping elements. This choice of perishable mediums associates the luxury they depict with a sense of impermanence as it physically cannot be preserved, and highlights the transient nature of human constructs and power.
While the visuals of a chandelier bring to mind the decadence of traditional affluence, the use of sugar connects the subject matter to a practice in the 17th and 18th century in which sugar sculptures were used to display the immense wealth of the aristocracy. To further this sense of supremacy, the work itself is hung above the viewer, not only placing the chandelier in its normal context, but also imparting a palpable atmosphere of unequal power dynamics to the viewer who has to look up to enjoy the artwork.
Explore my creative process in the slides below.
I take inspiration from the work of Timothy Horn, who utilises molten sugar to illustrate extravagant carriages, mirrors and other palatial objects. This work provides a critique of extreme wealth and status, whilst also revelling in its beauty, enveloping the viewer in its warm glow from the lights and golden sugar flowers. Suspended in time, the drips of sugar seem to be frozen in mid-air, and frames the chandelier in such a way that it appears to melt. At the same time, it has been frozen to preserve its beauty, harkening back to the cultural fixation on the preservation of the evanescent.