“I’m fascinated by fictional geographies and paradise mythologies, places where we can escape our earthly realities,” says artist Tanya Schultz, also known as Pip & Pop, whose large-scale candied cacophonies explode with sugary pastels and delicious textures (previously). “These places may or may not exist, are often found by chance, and are impossible to locate again once you leave. I think they can be seen as illusory places where we project our dreams and desires.”
Schultz draws inspiration from mythological utopias of luxury and plenty, like the medieval Pays de Cockaigne, also known as Luilekkerland or Schlaraffenland. In a place characterized by idleness and comfort, “the streets are paved with pastries, houses are built from cakes, mountains made of pudding, and cheese rains from the sky,” the artist says. She continues:
Throughout history, tales of food utopias became popular in times of food deprivation, especially during medieval times. People created stories, songs, and maps of these places as a way to escape reality and imagine a better future, where there would be abundant food. At other times, these lands of plenty were seen not as escapist fantasies but rather cautionary tales of gluttony.
Over time, Pip & Pop’s installations have grown in size and complexity. Schultz and her studio team incorporate sugar in various forms, “from soft, fragile piles to hard, candy-like substances,” the artist tells Colossal. “But it all starts with hand-dyeing sugar in hundreds of shades of pastel and neon colours.” The large-scale, psychedelic installations also employ modeling clay, rhinestones, beads, papier-mâché, rainbow string, pompoms, and tiny polymer cakes and fruits.
Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member today and support independent arts publishing for as little as $5 per month. You’ll connect with a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, read articles and newsletters ad-free, sustain our interview series, get discounts and early access to our limited-edition print releases, and much more. Join now!