Chococupcake Boy Transcript

Duration: 02:41

Meet ‘Chococupcake Boy’ by Mark Jalland. He stands in the sensory garden and the garden was developed in consultation with the friends of Close Park and Bury Hospice, and is dedicated to the memory of two young mums who were active members of the park. The artist explains the background to ‘Cupcake Boy’ and how the garden inspired him.

Artist (00.21)
He came about because of some work that had been done about the same time that we were developing the idea for the dinosaur, a sensory garden. On one occasion we took a group of local school children into the park and we discussed things of the nature of the site for the dinosaur, but also down in the sensory garden. We looked at the plants and we talked about sort of ideas that might go in there. One of the things I noticed in the sensory garden was a chocolate plant and it smelt and it tasted like chocolate and I think that was the sort of start of that. I needed something fairly small and intimate in the space and so the ‘Chococupcake’ the form of itself, that seemed to suggest itself and then I invited the students to come up with a poem on ‘why white chocolate cup cakes are so nice?’ and this is what you can read, cut out and inscribe on the actual cake itself.

Narrator (01:05)
As an artist, Mark also sees his role as a facilitator and educator.

Artist (01:10)
I had great fun working with the kids. We had a choreographer also involved with the pupils who worked on a dance piece for the site. I think when I work with children particularly as an educator, I’m very aware at facilitating them and if you are going to work on ideas you really need to educate them to some extent if your going to involve them in any sort of consultation or collaborative process.

Narrator (01:34)
The materials used have to stand up to weather and vandalism and it was one such act that spread Chococupcake Boy’s fame worldwide.

Artist (01:43)
Materially this was stainless steel again and then copper and the copper will eventually darken, so it’s a combination of the two. It’s quite strange really because it’s quite interesting that when we first put him in he was quite vulnerable and we needed to do a bit more fixing on him but his head disappeared, very briefly and not only does this get out into the local press (to fight to get his head back) but somebody in Milwaukee in the US, this woman who had a cupcake website picked up on it. She even put it out on her website too so he got some fame. Fortunately he’s got his head back and he’s been really strengthened up inside, so you know he’s suffered a bit of a battering but he should stay intact now for good. So that’s it ‘Chococupcake Boy’ I don’t think it gets any better than that in terms of this whole sort of chocolate experience.

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