Monday, January 31, 2011

Good Morning! I think it's about time I say a bit about how the whole Chocolate Skulls project began.

In 1993, just after receiving my diploma from The Ontario College of Art and Design, I was asked to participate in the Toronto art collective known as 'Symbiosis'. Founded by Michael Alstad, Steve Topping, and a core group of multi-disciplinary artists, Symbiosis mounted site specific exhibitions in non traditional spaces like the basement of an old office building, a 19th century church, a vacated bank, and a cosmetic surgery clinic. We called our exhibits 'Art Interventions', and we received our share of attention from both the avante guarde and mainstream press.

It was for THE BANK OF SYMBIOSIS, Ontario Hydro Building, Oct.2 - 25th, 1997 exhibit, that I began casting skulls. I mounted an installation entitled, 'A Candle for the Sinners'. It was a money tree, constructed from industrial grade copper wires, unravelled at each end to form the roots and branches. I attached 'counterfeit' bills where the leaves would be, and for the 'rocks', I made casts of a human skull in pristine white plaster.

I had to trek out to an industrial area to find the quantity of materials required to make the skull mold. When I got there, I saw products made especially for casting food. I'd never thought about casting anything edible, yet for some reason, the idea of chocolate skulls suddenly dawned on me. It seemed like a great idea - and very surreal. After a few attempts making the molds, I perfected my own, copyrighted method. I think there's a bright future in confectionary canibalism!

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