‘Architectural Foodsmiths’ Bompas & Parr to Create Major Installation at Kew Gardens
Sat 25 May to Sun 1 September 2013
*Thursday 23 May - Photo-call (9.30am) and interview opportunities (10.30am)*
The Installation – Tutti Frutti Boating Lake
In honour of Kew Gardens’ summer festival IncrEdibles (which celebrates the delicious diversity of edible plants), Bompas & Parr, culinary curators at the intersection of art, architecture and food, will create a dramatic display that will ask people to think again about the food that they eat every day. The pond in front of the Palm House, one of London’s most iconic structures, will be transformed into a boating lake and participatory artwork.
The centre piece of this display will be a floating pineapple island. Visitors can reach it via a walkway running across the water, and watch the small colourful rowing boats, drift lazily past. Or they can hire a boat themselves, explore the pond, and enter the secret banana grotto beneath the pineapple.
For the installation, Bompas & Parr has worked with menswear designer Kit Neale to uniform the staff and create a unique print to clad the pineapple island. Kit worked with the Kew archivists to develop fruity contemporary textiles based on the historic botanical illustrations in the archive. The resulting prints are hypnotic.
Why a Pineapple?
Sam Bompas of Bompas & Parr says “Kew has a fantastically extensive and inspiring Bromeliad collection. The pineapple, perhaps the most lauded bromeliad, was long seen as the king of fruits - a lush and tropical treat combining the bounty of strawberries with an exotic citrus tang. The fruits were once so rare and wondrous that they would change hands for fortunes. Hostesses would rent them by the hour for dinner parties to impress snobs and rivals.
“As London natives, we are obsessed with pineapples in architecture. Take a wander around the capital, and you will see that the triumphant pineapple is a London-wide architectural motif. You can find them everywhere, from the pineapples of Lambeth bridge, to the finials of St Paul’s Cathedral. The pineapple at the centre of the Tutti Frutti installation we will build at Kew this year will be the most triumphant of them all. Bring on the bromeliad!”
Bompas & Parr with Kew – the partnership
Sam continues: “This is going to be a grand adventure. Kew has always been a place of pilgrimage and inspiration for Harry and myself. To collaborate with them makes complete sense for us - their concern with the world’s plant life directly provides us with our raw materials of creativity. Our design process always starts with a raw ingredient – be it fruit, alcohol, chocolate, or coffee. Trace any ingredient back far enough and you get to plants.
“We always like to think that our work encourages people to think again. By applying architectural techniques, we work to persuade people to look again at what is on the end of their forks.
“The same principle is equally applicable to Kew. The Gardens are an emerald treasury for London. By creating a sensational installation that problematises conventional views, it’s possible to persuade Londoners to become tourists in their own city. We defy them not to have fun.”
IncrEdibles: A Voyage through Surprising Edible Plants
Kew is celebrating the amazing bounty of the plant world, inviting visitors to experience first-hand a selection of the 12,000 different species we can feast on. This festival will showcase the sheer number of edible plants growing in the Gardens. Visitors will be inspired to broaden their relationship with what they eat, by taking part in or observing the banquet of offerings that make up this fantastically foody festival. Whether they hire a boat to sail around the pineapple, travel the globe in our gastronomic garden, join a tea party with a twist, or bask in a picnic garden, there is something for the whole family to get their teeth into.
Bompas & Parr
The installation at Kew will be supported by a Fruit Salad based publication by Bompas & Parr, featuring contributions by Pippa Middleton, Martin Parr, Elena Arzak, Sissel Tolaas, St John, Jennifer Rubell and FAT.
Bompas & Parr designs spectacular experiences often working on an architectural scale with cutting edge technology. Projects explore how the taste of food is altered by synaesthesia, performance and setting.
From just Sam Bompas and Harry Parr in 2007, when Bompas & Parr was founded, the studio has slowly grown to its current structure in response to the possibility of generating a wide range of projects. The studio now consists of a team of cooks, specialised technicians, architects, graphic designers, and administrators. They work with Sam and Harry to experiment, develop, produce, and install projects, artworks, jellies and exhibitions, as well as archiving, communicating, and contextualising the work. Additional to the projects realised in-house, Bompas & Parr contract structural engineers and other specialists, collaborate with curators, cultural practitioners, and scientists.
They were named by The Independent as 'one of the 15 people who will define the future of arts in Britain'.
For more information on the installation / festival, or any of Kew’s work, please contact the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Press Office on 020 8332 5607 or email email@example.com
Images are available to download from http://www.kew.org/press/images/index_kew.html. Please contact the RBG Kew press office for a username and password
Notes to editors
For the full IncrEdibles press release, please go to: http://www.kew.org/about-kew/press-media/press-releases-kew/edible-plants-and-fungi-2013.htm
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is a world famous scientific organisation, internationally respected for its outstanding living collection of plants and world-class Herbarium as well as its scientific expertise in plant diversity, conservation and sustainable development in the UK and around the world. Kew Gardens is a major international visitor attraction. Its landscaped 132 hectares and RBG Kew’s country estate, Wakehurst Place, attract over 1.5 visits every year. Kew was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2003 and celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2009. Wakehurst Place is home to Kew's Millennium Seed Bank, the largest wild plant seed bank in the world. Kew receives approximately half its funding from Government through the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). Further funding needed to support Kew’s vital work comes from donors, membership and commercial activity including ticket sales.
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