The Four O

The Four O

2012 – Edible Sculpture

This artwork was created for my special birthday celebration.  All of what you see is edible, including the 40 origami folded cranes. There is a tiny bit of wire and wooden support included.

I wanted this artwork to represent me, my stage of life, my background, and some of my influences.  The mountain represents part of life’s journey, but also reminds me of Mount Fuji in Japan. It is snow capped, very apt for a winter birthday celebration.  There are some edible computer keyboard keys that link to my work (secretarial/computer) background.  You may have already realised, I have a thing for jigsaw puzzles. I have always loved doing jigsaw puzzles, and you will have noticed I have been using second hand jigsaw puzzles in my artwork, which is a thrill and a challenge. There are forty edible pieces of jigsaw, and the lid can be put on the box.

The bower bird is a representation of myself.  In recent years, I realised I am very much like a bower bird. I like to construct things, my favourite colour is blue, and I like to collect things! I have done some drawings in the past, with a bowerbird and a jigsaw puzzle piece, hence there is a jigsaw puzzle piece in this bird’s mouth. I do collect jigsaw puzzles now (for art purposes) which also includes random missing pieces.  The bowerbird’s collection of blue things include a shiny star (I love shiny, sparkly things), a ball of yarn or wool, a scrap of fabric or whatever you want it to be, a button and a flower. These are all things I love.

Cherry blossom trees are something I have had a fondness for, for quite some time and they are also a link with my fondness for Japan, which I think is a fascinating culture, rich with traditional handcrafts and textiles. Whilst deciding what to make for my cake, I discovered that the cherry blossom tree is symbolic in Japan for the ephemeral (short lived) nature of life and it’s (life) short bloom period. Very apt for my 40th birthday cake I thought. Forty blossoms can be found on the main part of the cake (there are few extras scattered amongst the rocks), although some have already fallen from the tree, and yes, that is a deliberate statement about my life stage.  The stamens on the blossoms are all hand made and edible.

The 40 origami cranes are edible, and I made the ‘paper’ and folded them all. I have enjoyed doing origami since I was a little girl and I am continually amazed with what you can do with a square piece of paper. I also love the attitudes that the crane is associated with – purity, honesty, fidelity, loyalty, nobility, beauty, honour and longevity… all qualities I strive for. I have them going up the mountain and flying off at the top, because I wanted to portray a sense of freedom which life at forty brings. Hopefully by the time you are at that stage in life, you know who you are, what you really aspire to do and be, and are not worrying about what others think about you. I think we should be revelling in our uniqueness, and that brings a certain amount of freedom.