Thursday, August 4, 2011

Art Collective

Over the last half-year and more I've been hoarding inspiration.

I've cut out (well, ripped really) clippings from magazines, bookmarked (and stalked) fascinating dessert and fashion blogs, traipsed through style files and imbibed all the colour and artistry of the avant garde.

It's amazing! I have so much I want to experiment with, but often feel I fall short, especially technique-wise. So I'm always up for a challenge, and while I don't play around with as much with the structure of cakes (have yet to venture into 3D carved cakes like this one), I do like to experiment with its form (for example, my typography cakes).

Anyways, I recently had the tremendous opportunity to work with Rowena Martinich, an amazing abstract artist whose works can be seen all over the physical and cultural streetscapes of Melbourne. We met at the Design Made Trade exhibition a couple weeks back, and I was immediately drawn to her use of bright, neon, fluorescent colour. It's so vivid and simply demands your attention. We got to talking, one thing led to another, and ta dah! A cupcake collective based on her work, Acid Tempest, for the launch of her exhibition Colour Storm.

I think what was running through my mind was whether I would be able to capture the essence of her work, which is often presented on a huge scale - sometimes several stories high on the side of a building! - and re-present it on my small canvas. And an edible one at that! It certainly takes the idea of art-as-consumption to a literal level; the "art" becomes corporeal.

All right enough talk, here're the pictures!

Chocolate fudge cupcakes dipped in dark chocolate ganache.


Preparing the royal icing for "painting". 
I thinned the mixture with water to create a runnier texture.

Holy cow, I can't believe how bright the colours were! 
I can't believe I managed to source fluoro food gel! 

Testing out my "dripping" technique. It really isn't that easy!

Covering the cake board in fondant.

Bevelling the edges.

"Painting" the blue royal icing.

Adding the rest of the colours and letting them drip.

Drying the "paint" between layers.

It's terribly hard to get the drips right. 
As you can see, they're a lot fatter than in the original painting.

So I finally figured it was way better to pipe it on. Much better!

Voila! The final "painting"

The original Acid Tempest. Amazing isn't it?

 To get the circles evenly spaced out on the board, I'd pre-measured it on tracing paper, 
drew out the circles, cut them out, then placed it over the finished board and 
cut through with the circle cutter. Tedious, but the devil's in the detail.

The final collective
(the colour looks a little washed out, but it was pretty brilliant up close!)

Here're more shots from opening night:

I love how the paint drips have been carefully cut out to mimic the effect of the paint "escaping" its canvas.
Out of the paintbox, into real life eh?

I'm waiting for more pics from Rowena of people actually eating the cupcakes, and I'll post them here when they arrive!

Colour Storm will be at Area Contemporary Art Space (Level 1, 230 Brunswick St., Fitzroy) until August 7.

You can follow Rowena on Facebook here.


  1. Ohmigod, Sarah, that's amazing! You have some real talent, girlie!!! Keep going!!!

  2. Awww, thanks Pri! You're too kind ;))


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