Belfast Telegraph

Artist sets off to China to build sculpture of Great Wall using sugar

By Amanda Poole

How many sugar cubes does it take to make a sculpture of the world's biggest wall?

The answer, according to Belfast sculptor Brendan Jamison, is 12,000.

And he should know as he prepares to travel to Beijing to create a sugar sculpture of the Great Wall of China.

The talented artist is already well known for his unique sugar cube carvings of iconic buildings such as the Tate Modern, the Reichstag and 10 Downing Street's front door.

He is now heading to China to take part in an international exhibition called Walls and Borders – for which he needs 12,000 cubes and 20kg of loose sugar to create his new piece. Alongside the collapsed version of the Great Wall sculpture – which will span three metres across the floor at Ku Art Gallery – Brendan will be exhibiting sugar cube creations of Belfast's peace walls and the Berlin Wall, complete with a Cold War American spy station.

The captivating sugar creations are part of the Irish Wave festival which takes place throughout March at eight exhibitions across the cities of Beijing and Shanghai.

Work by prominent artists from China will also be displayed to celebrate the links between Belfast and its twinned city of Hefei, the capital city of the Anhui Province in Eastern China. Brendan believes it will be a challenge to create the Great Wall's watch towers, which are beautifully designed with curving roofs and arched windows.

"I am very excited to venture to China to participate in such a high-profile international exhibition in Beijing," he said.

"I'm looking forward to meeting the Chinese artists that are part of the project and hopefully we can generate future exhibitions of their artworks in Belfast.

"Nothing broadens the mind more than working with other cultures," he added.

"The sculptures of the Berlin Wall and the Belfast peace walls will present an exciting international flavour to the exhibition which we hope will offer a strong cross-cultural experience to all those who visit the gallery."

Co-curated by Gail Ritchie and Fion Gunn, the exhibition is supported by Belfast's Queen Street Studios, the University of Ulster, Belfast City Council, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and BIGsmall Artists in London.

Walls and Borders opens on March 14 at the Ku Art Gallery and continues until March 26.

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Brendan Jamison studied for six years at the University of Ulster where he gained a First Class BA Honours degree in Fine and Applied Arts in 2002 and then the postgraduate degree of Master of Fine Art in 2004.

Over the past eight years, his artworks have been widely exhibited throughout the world with shows in the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Italy, America, Canada, New Zealand, India and China.

He has also been awarded residencies in New Delhi and New York and has produced works made from sugar cubes, wool, wax, wood and bronze.

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