Monday, August 29, 2011

Crocheted Chocolate: sweet as

It’s easy to miss the sweet offering in the window of Nannas Coffee + Vintage because they look so deliciously real.

In fact, an unmentioned colleague of mine went specifically to view the installation by Margaret Barlow and other local artists and came back disappointed because “they weren’t there”. (Mind you, the same unmentioned colleague also insists that Barry Morgan is an organ salesman and actually has an organ superstore in Adelaide. But that’s for another review.)

But a second glance and you’ll notice gran’s woven shopper made out of recycled sweetie wrappers displaying its twinkling boxes of Turkish delight and 1950s biscuits, jars of knitted crocheted truffles and a knitted mug of hot chocolate with its woolly marshmallows. Taking pride of place next to them is an Alice-in-Wonderland three-layered cake stand (which you wouldn’t dream of being anything other than red with white polka-dots) flaunting its white, milk and dark felted bonbons with embroidery for piping, sparkly beads for sprinkles and frilly multi-coloured paper-cases.

Nannas is the perfect setting for this pop-art virtual reality installation. With its vintage clothing, quirky objets trouves and all things polyester, melamine and formica, the crocheted sweets sit happily next to Nannas’ real treats of coconut slice, raspberry bites and choc peanut biccies.

Crocheted Chocolate is reminiscent of one of my favourite installations of Junction 2010, The Knitting Room, albeit on a micro level. Both projects are participatory and collaborative, involving the community in arts that historically have been just that. It’s rich and whimsical and, well, sweet, and one of the delights of this year’s Festival.

Perfect, even if you don’t have a sweet-tooth.

Wendy Newton

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