For my initial artists i will look at the two artists that inspired the project, both of these artists work with real sugar and this was what inspired me to want to work with the material. From wanting to work with the material i started making political and social connections that could give some context to my idea and i think these two artists have helped me to create a project that could help me grow as an artist.
I have uploaded my sketchbook pages on the two artists i have looked at:
Pip & Pop are an Australian female duo of artists that use sugar & kitsch “bric a brac” to create fantasy galaxies and landscapes on a large scale, they have been showcased in galleries all over the world and the pastel pop colours of their work enticed me to look at them. They use sugar in a powdered form coloured with different pigments and they also use it to sculpt trees and hills and mountains, all in a very surreal style.
Their work is breathtaking and so surreal, its a world i’d like to shink down and live in! The way they manipulate the sugar and the pigment defys what i knew about the material, as it looks solid and quite sturdy, whilst the colours and patterns give it a pretty delicacy.
I created a painting of one of their landscapes using acrylic, i love their use of pastel colours and i’d love to see some of their work in person one day.
The next artist i found was Timothy Horn, he creates beautiful large scale sugar crystal pieces, where he grows sugar crystals over antiques to amazing effect. He’s actually a mixed media artist who creates in many other mediums such as glass blowing and metal work, but he created a whole series utilizing sugar crystals where he lowers his antiques into tanks filled with sugar solution and allows sugar crystals to grow all over them for a period of time. Then they are removed and exhibited in Galleries, i am particularly in awe of his carriage and chandelier examples, created in gold sugar crystals to give them an opulent feel. He currently practices in Vermont in the USA, The focus of his work is where the natural world meets the manmade and as sugar is natural and the crystals form naturally over time i think he’s achieved his goal well. The detail in his work is stunning and that it all occurs naturally makes it even more beautiful, though i suspect he chips bits off and sculpts it a little bit once all the crystals have formed.
i did a pen study of this carriage for my sketchbook and experimented with covering an object in caramelised sugar 🙂 you can see images of this below, i dont know how he made his work not be sticky, because my attempt certainly was very sticky and i think it wouldnt last very long!
Here is some sugar that i melted and coloured using food colouring, it hardens very quickly and isn’t malleable for longer than a minute or two so it is a challenging material to work with, also the colours dry quite dark and not as sugary and sweet looking as i would have hoped.
This is my pen study of his carriage, i really enjoyed drawing such a detailed subect, i then used a watercolour wash in a gold colour to pick out the colours and highlights in the sugar carriage 🙂 Below is the object i covered in sugar, i used a gold-yellowish colour to try and replicate his and it is very glittery and opulent compared to the blue and red i tried!
i do like how the drips dried in place but they were very fragile, there is more information on this experimenting in my blog post specifically about sugar experiments 🙂 But Timothy’s use of a very diffcult material and his clear mastery of it has inspired me to find my own sugary material i can master.