Grape Chandelier (2011)
materials: Murray River Salt, metal
dimenions: 2 meters x 1.5 meters (diameter)
From ancient Mesopotamia over four thousand years ago to present-day Australia, salinity has posed a major problem for civilisations throughout history. Along the Murray-Darling basin, known as Australia’s ‘food bowl’ as it produces up to 90 per cent of Australia’s fresh food, 550 000 tonnes of salt is pumped out of the ground every year to try and stem the increasing rise of highly saline groundwater.
Grape Chandelier is made from this groundwater salt.
Historically in Europe the chandelier was often considered as reminiscent of the shape of grapes. In this chandelier, Ken+Julia have casted 5000 grapes with salt. The grapes were sourced in the Mildura region, known for its wine production. The issues of irrigation, wine production, and salinity all go hand in hand in this region. Hence Ken+Julia put them all together in this work, which was actually their first chandelier-inspired work, made before the Crystal Palace series. They began drawing on the idea of the chandelier as a symbol of luxury from the Renaissance era with this work.