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A Castle Made of 500,000 Sugar Cubes by 5,000 People

The crystalline city is comprised of saccharin spires, high-calorie columns, along with great walls of glucose and is one of the few pieces of art that can expand your mind and give you type 2 diabetes simultaneously.

By Joseph Flaherty - Source:
Photo © Brendan Jaimson

Photo © Brendan Jaimson

Organizing 5,000 people to make a collaborative piece of art using half a million cubes of sugar sounds like a recipe for disaster, but Irish sculptor Brendan Jamison pulled it off for Sugar Metropolis, a model city crafted using ordinary sugar by a swarm of volunteers. Think of it as one of the few pieces of art that can expand your mind and give you type 2 diabetes at the same time.

Jamison got the idea of using maltose as a muse in 2003 when he was working on a stop-motion animation that called for candy. He experimented with different kinds of sweets and eventually realized that sugar cubes, with their regular dimensions, pristine color, and brick-like structure, made them the perfect choice to build with. “Once I started working with sugar, all of sudden the possibilities seemed endless,” he says.

What started as a lark has become Jamison’s trademark. He’s created sugar installations for galleries across the world and was recently commissioned to create a tooth-rotting replica of the famous door at 10 Downing Street, which is currently on display at the English Prime Minister’s residence. Americans, imagine a replica White House composed of apple pie displayed at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and you’ve got a sense of how widely Jamison’s art has spread.

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