Nude artist plans sweet escape from sticky situation

Christchurch artist Audrey Baldwin yesterday stands behind one of the panes of toffee that will...
Christchurch artist Audrey Baldwin yesterday stands behind one of the panes of toffee that will be part of her Fringe Festival performance, "Canker", at the Blue Oyster Project Art Space tomorrow. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
Artistic taste is a funny thing.

Just ask Christchurch artist Audrey Baldwin, who will attempt to lick her way out of a box made of toffee tomorrow in her Fringe Festival performance, "Canker".

Baldwin has made a dodecahedron out of 1m square by 4mm thick panes of pure toffee, each weighing about 8kg.

"I'll build myself into it then lick my way out over three hours. I'll be nude in the box, so I'm going to be a bit sticky by the time I get out of it," she said, while boiling toffee for her sculpture at the Otago Polytechnic School of Hospitality this week.

"My plan is to lick around and see which bit gives the most. It will be demanding for me and the viewer. I don't expect people to stay the whole three hours it will take."

The project had bittersweet undertones, she said.

"It reflects on our sugar-rush society. Sugar is a very loaded material. We want everything now and excessively.

"And I have an oral fascination; the mouth is the site of sensuality and aggression and communication.

I've also got a bit of a sweet tooth, but I probably won't any more after this," she joked.

"But, it has been a labour of lunacy. A ridiculously obsessive process. I know it's going to be painful. I'll get lockjaw and cramps and sugar rushes. I did a practice run for two hours last month and my tongue swelled up and I couldn't talk properly for days," she said.

"But I'll have a hammer on hand, in case it's physically impossible to get out."

"Canker" will be performed at 5pm tomorrow at the Blue Oyster Project Art Space.



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