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1,000 Pounds of Powdered Sugar Created a Colourful Candy Kingdom

Pip & Pop's new installation is a Lisa Frank binder come to life.

Beckett Mufson

Beckett Mufson

Images courtesy the artist

Inventing worlds made from candy is typically the domain of young kids and Adventure Time's Pendleton Ward, but Perth-based artist Pip & Pop, a.k.a., Tanya Schutz, has carved out a cavity in the art world for her sugary brand of rainbow installation art. Her latest is an archipelago of clay, glitter, plastic flowers, crystals, rainbow string, craft materials, and 1,000 pounds of powdered sugar occupying the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art. Four whimsical islands, flush with 100 different fluorescent and pastel colors, form a landscape that would make Princess Bubblegum jealous. 

The installation's title, When Happiness Ruledis a reference to mythical food-filled utopias such as Luilekkerland, the Land of Cockaigne and Schlaraffenland. "These are places where the streets are lined with pastries, the rivers flow with lemonade—you can have everything you desire and more. They are sometimes aspirational fantasies, or cautionary tales of gluttony," Schultz tells The Creators Project.

It's unclear which of these categories apply to When Happiness Ruled. Its inhabitants are cake-mountain creatures which rotate slowly or roam about the gallery space, surrounded by bright and beautiful colors but unable to ever leave. The distraction-fueled dystopia of Alodus Huxley's Brave New World comes to mind as easily as the gold-lined streets of El Dorado. The interpretation is left up to the viewer, but Schultz says, "I hope I've made an optimistic work that transports viewers to another world, a kind of psychedelic paradise."

When Happiness Ruled is on display at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art through December 24, 2016. See more of Pip & Pop's work on her website.

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