The story of chocolate begins in 1900 BC in Mesoamerica. The cacao seeds were believed to be a gift from Quetzalcoatl, the God of wisdom. Cacao's power lay in the fact that it was an aphrodisiac and was thought to provide strength. The story of chocolate evolves through its discovery by Christopher Columbus in his 1502 mission to the America's and its introduction to the Spanish Court by the Spanish frairs. As chocolate began to capture the hearts of the European's, it was subject to mass production processes in advent of the Industrial Revolution. The love of chocolate has inspired many to become chocolate artists or chocolatiers, brilliant individuals who have tasked themselves with the joy of presenting and remaking this powerful elixir from the cocoa plant into ever more multi-sensory experiences. From Pierre Marcolini to Sadaharu Aoki, these pieces of art work delight us in both simple and complex ways.
In the evolution of the project 'Waste is a Misconception', I was inspired by the multi-sensory nature of chocolate. Chocolate and fine patisserie have a series of desirable characteristics. These mini edible sculptures are biodegradable, beautiful and awaken multi-sensory pleasure in those that delight in them. If you are attentive enough, the noise of breaking through one and the slight challenge that you encounter in that process is highly satisfactory within itself. Any surprise flavouring is but a pleasing addition.
In creating with bio-resin, a resin that had been made from waste plant matter and waste coffee granules from Nespresso pods, it is ever more important to bring out the deliciousness and desirability. The 'sustainable cause' has often suffered from a lack of pleasure consideration and until we can create items that bring as much gorgeousness into our lives as some of their more harmful cousins, it will be a challenge to convince the public that environmental mindfulness is indeed attractive. As I move forwards with this project, I am looking to cultivating the same sensory pleasures inherent in a piece of edible artwork.
Words by Natasha J Hussein