Set design as Art exhibition at Højbygaard Sugarfactory in Lolland, Denmark at Lolland Museum. September 2011
Saatchi Abstract Showdown Finalist 2012 - London
'SugarShock' paintings selected as 1 of 10 finalists for the Saatchi Gallery Showdown Open Call for exhibiting at the
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This installation is site-specific and relates to the location's original purpose - sugar manufacturing. It incorporates painting. The paintings form a three-dimensional space that invites the viewer to step inside and interact with the room. It operates with visual and installation art, while it engages the audience.
I call this interdisciplinary scenography.
Previously classical theatre performances used painting as backdrops as a power to create the illusion of realistic space, but the quaint expression here combines realism and abstraction. One could say that the factory's reality is, that we consume sugar, and the installations abstraction is a visual commentary on the effects that sugar triggers in humans.
Synthetic realism expressed abstractly as a comment to a mass consumer product.
The paintings become a metaphor for how sugar fragments human mental fluctuations. Sugar, in different forms from refined white sugar to artificial sweeteners, is as addictive as alcohol, cigarettes and drugs. The addiction is very real! Research indicates that sugar may be similar to morphine and heroin in its ability to increase opioids in our brain that produce pleasure.
At first, one gets an initial 'sugar high' as the sugar queues serotonin. The beginning of the infamous 'sugar crash' which causes one to crave even more sugar.
The food industry understands the power of sweetness and consumerism rooted in addiction. Sugar is one of the major dietary components. Corporate powerhouse companies execute an insidious sweetening of foods. The food companies give highly refined sugars aliases, and artificial sweeteners seem like a cure for addiction, but they are just another drug!
A range of health problems is caused by both chemical sweeteners and highly refined sugar. It can cause hormonal imbalances, 180 degrees vision flips, diabetes and cancer.
In 2005 WHO warned that deaths from diabetes may increase by 80% in 2015. Sugar can influence central nervous system activity and affects attention span and memory. It creates behavioural changes such as mood swings, depression and hyperactivity.
Sugar is what's gone wrong with the diet of industrialized nations: a diet gone mad!
© Birgitte Moos Chalcraft 2019