© Gillian Mairi Alexander, Woman with Strawberry Laces for Hair, 2011

© Gillian Mairi Alexander, Of This Earth, 2011

© Gillian Mairi Alexander, Dusting, 2011

Installation view:
The Icing Table, Dusting, The Crowning of The Cake Princess and Of This Earth, Glasgow School of Art Degree Show 2011

“Long has been my adoration for cake. Our relationship formed through its habitual presence at joyous celebrations and its pacifying attributes called upon in the hour of need. Our affiliation has evolved. It has become my “right side man”, a building material allowing me to sculpt in the most honest and sincere way I know how. Something in which I can rely upon to behave expectantly and to coat all endeavours in a comforting sense of nostalgia and dependability. This newfound trait was utilised in my installation at the Glasgow School of Art 2011 Degree Show to create dialogues between materials and characters present through a mixture of objects, film and performance.

When entering the space you are “greeted” by the cake-framed portrait Woman with Strawberry Laces for Hair. A distinct air of judgment falls on those who catch her eye but realistically it is less intended for those who happened upon her domain than for what and who she looks out over. Her stare overlooks an invitingly interactive object The Icing Table, which seems to be there to facilitate some sort of indulgent act. Its glass bowls acting as vessels for cake decorating ingredients, such as hundreds and thousands and glace cherries, slump heavily beneath the surface of its table. Reminiscent of bulging creamy udders. Sitting in opposition to the portrait is a docile character happily contained in her own existence, in the performance The Crowning of The Cake Princess. Acknowledging nothing other than her own contentment their relationship seems to be so well established that there seems to be an accepted hierarchy that is maintained. Mounted on either side of The Cake Princess are two smaller cake frames acting as portholes into an outside space. A fairy like character flits past the openings billowing flour out onto her landscape as she twirls and prances, essentially acting as an animated sieve. Standing alone but very much belonging with its peers is the sculpture Of This Earth. Made up of layered cake and a plaster and flint mix it hints at what could exist at the core of this strange parallel world. Adhering the idea of cake being a legitimate building/earthy material alongside its traditionally used plaster and flint, it gives the possibility of this world quiet validity, encouraging you to indulge guiltlessly in its voluptuous fantasy.”

Gillian Alexxander

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