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Irish artist creates sugar cube sculpture for 10 Downing Street

An artist from Northern Ireland, Brendan Jamison, has been chosen to create an exhibition for display inside 10 Downing Street.

The artist is known for creating sculptures out of sugar cubes and he was commissioned to create a model of the Downing Street door made entirely out of sugar.

Mr Jamison is 32 years old and it took him over two months to complete the piece of art which will be on display in the Prime Minister’s residence.

About creating the sculpture he commented, “This is definitely one of the highlights of my career so far and being chosen to have a piece of art on display at Number 10 is a great privilege and an honour. I have been working with Janice Blackburn and her level of professionalism and dedication to art is truly astounding. She is also an esteemed writer and used to curate Saatchi Gallery. Working with someone so important within the art world is a great privilege.”

The exhibition is not commercial and is only going to be shown to visiting politicians from around the world. Mr Jamison is based in Belfast and he became famous after creating numerous intricate sculptures out of sugar cubes. Some of his most famous sculptures include that of the Tate Modern in London, as well as Helen’s Tower.

The Tate Modern sculpture involved using nearly 72,000 sugar cubes and it weighs over 220 kilograms. It was commissioned for the London Festival of Architecture which took place in 2010 and it stretches to over two metres wide.

Other sculptures include a model of the NEO Bankside which is an apartment pavilion next to the Tate Modern. About creating the models Mr Jamison commented, “I have always had an interest in architecture and when I think it’s always in three dimensions.

When I was a young boy I was constantly working with Lego and I just built whatever I thought up in my mind. I never followed the instructions and I believe this is what fostered my creativity and brought me to where I am today.”

While he was at art school he decided to move away from the traditional mediums such as marble, stone and clay, instead deciding to work with wax and wool. He later went on to create art using Smarties but eventually came to prefer sugar cubes.

About hiss preferred medium he said, “There is such a freedom in working with sugar cubes, they can be carved so easily and be cut into any shape you need. In addition to this they give the pieces of art a wonderful finish as they sparkle in the light.”

When he goes about the process of creating a sculpture of the building he gets access to the architects plans and works on scaling them down. When he created the model of the Tate Modern he scaled it down 100 times and the total process from conception to finished construction took three months. The Bankside project was slightly shorter but still took 60 days.

Many people think that the sugar cubes would be too fragile to create such intricate and large structures and this is something that stuns people who come to see the work. The sugar cubes are bonded with a special type of glue which means the structures are more sturdy and the observer might think. At exhibitions the artist will often will knock the structures a little to demonstrate how strong they are.


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