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‘It’s the most wonderful time of the year’ tapping my glittery blue shoes (I’m not a fan of red) like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, I wonder, is it really the most wonderful time of the year? Or am I getting too old for Christmas?
Growing up my childhood was filled with the magical fairy tales of Hans Christian Anderson and the Brothers Grimm. Hansel & Gretel is by far one of my favourite stories of all time. Maybe it was the scary witch that would eat the children (quite macabre and cannibalistic I’ve come to realise) or maybe it was the clever children who outwitted the wicked witch, or it could have been the enormous house made of nothing but sugary treats...
Photo from Let's Shed
The story had such a profound effect on my adult life that I have explored these sugary temptations during many facets of my life. In my writing, in my drawings, in my textiles and always in my unwavering love for all things colour, pattern & textures that resemble a whole lot like sweets!
Sugar Rush Series Drawing (2010) by Carolina Gomez-Aubert
Sugar Rush Textiles (2010) Threads by Carolina Gomez-Aubert
Sugar Rush Series (2010) Ceramic Tiles by Carolina Gomez-Aubert
A Colour Symphony with the Counter Templo Drinks Cabinet & Azuleijo Mandolin
It gives me comfort to know that I'm not alone in my affinity to candy related objects. Matthias Borowski, one half of studio Kollektiv Plus Zwei, designed a collection of candy-like objects that can be used as seats and tables for his thesis, titled The Importance of the Obvious. Borowski made objects looking like sweets to trigger all of our five senses.
The Importance of Being Obvious by Matthias Borowski
The artwork created by the Japanese art collective Three has a political subtext as powerful as it is subtle. For example, the installation Eat Me uses 7,000-wrapped candy pieces hung from the gallery ceiling in the shape of a house. Visitors are encouraged to take the candy from the installation and toss the wrapper in a corner set aside in the gallery. Throughout the day the ‘house’ of candy is transformed into a pile of trash – a symbolic recreation of the overwhelming destruction of homes by Japan’s 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Eat Me by Three
Coming from a country where colour is everywhere, all the time – yes, wearing grey or black is not a daily occurrence unless you are going to a funeral – I look for colour like a child looks for sweets. Their innocent connotation used in more serious environments is striking, but more than that bright colours make me feel alive.
In the 1920s the United States, wanted to pass a tax on candy, they described it as a luxury, not a necessity. Had that law passed it would have certainly changed the course of history, we would be selling candy on The Longest Stay!
It is possible that my fascination with sweets, their colours, their smells and their patterns is a subconscious way of holding on to those childhood memories. When I think of those times, Christmas actually feels like pure Joy. If I can still feel that, then I am certainly not too old…
I’m glad the wicked witch’s house made such an impression on me. Otherwise, what would guide my colour choices? More importantly, what guides yours?
Yours in Sweet Design,