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Fatema Zehra

Named by the Independent as one of “The 15 people who will define the future of arts in Britain”, Bompas and Parr’s Willy Wonka style creations are visions to be marvelled at. To top it off, they master new levels of fun by working with an unlikely food choice and childhood favourite; jelly!

Some of the ‘jellymongers’ most outlandish creations include well-loved London landmarks, including a markedly bright yet translucent copy of St Paul’s Cathedral and a banquet filled with jelly skyscrapers.

Their culinary creation doesn’t end with jelly. The innovative team’s food experiments have taken them to the window display of London’s Selfridges Department Store in December 2013, where they constructed in collaboration with Biscuiteers and Lyle’s Golden Syrup a gingerbread cityscape of London’s lost and un-built architecture.

Always looking into the science of creating eccentric and elaborate projects, Sam Bompas and Harry Parr are set to continue to reawaken our senses.

pebble jelly (credit Ann Charlott Ommedal)

How did you start working with food in this way and why?

We began creative work with food through dint of necessity. With no formal culinary training and we had to measure up against the best of the best. Our solution was to collaborate with molecular biologists, ethnobotanists, pet specialists, engineers and neuroscientists bringing their knowledge into the realm of food.

What inspires your work?

A good rummage around the library. We normally do a whole host of research at the London Library to kick a project off. But deciding the subject? That tends to be a hunch or personal interest that develops into a fully-fledged project. At the moment we are learning the craft of stonemasonry. In the future we are hoping to get crucial on multi-tonne blocks of fine marble. There’s still a lot to learn though!

What do you hope to evoke with your work?

A sense of awe and wonder. We like to provoke people to think again about what’s on the end of their fork.

Is it a love of food or a love of art?

We don’t bother with these sorts of arbitrary definitions – the work slips back and forth between the two on a regular basis. For our audience both food and art occupy forms of entertainment. If we entertain the audience, our work is done.

What is your favourite creation and why?

Doing good work. Creating an installation that you’d genuinely love to go to yourself.