Imagine entering a mystical pyramid, only to be surrounded by a dense mist of vaporised fruit. Venturing further, you wander through an intricate fruity maze, ingesting some of your five-a-day portions of vitamins as you go, and eventually pop out at the top of the three-storey structure to hurtle yourself down a giant slide.
This is not some surreal dream or forgotten Roald Dahl children’s story, but rather this summer’s arts commission for the Big Chill music festival.
Sprung from the imagination of ‘jellymongers’ extraordinaire Bompas & Parr (curator of culinary events which describes itself as operating in the space between food and architecture), Ziggurat of Flavour is inspired by Naples’ 18th century Cuccagna monuments – architectural structures made of food displayed at local festivals.
The installation will use the same technology as Anthony Gormley’s Blind Light cube of fog at London’s Hayward Gallery to vaporise fair trade fruit, essentially making taste spatialised – ‘in this way the fruit becomes architecture – an immersive, habitable environment’, says Bompas & Parr.
The consultancy is working with a myriad of experts, from maze psychologists to design the perfect labyrinth, to Stephen Gage, Professor of Innovative Technology at the University College London’s Bartlett School of Architecture (to delve into the theory of buildings as a piece of fruit), and Dr Oliver Firth of the Centre for Altitude Space and Extreme Environment Medicine.
With a dramatic score to accompany their journey, visitors will start feeling like they’re consuming a fruity building. Or at least, that’s the idea.
‘We’ve come full circle,’ says Sam Bompas. ‘We’re now working with food on an architectural scale. It sounds pretty hardcore, but is actually a hell of a lot of fun.’
The Big Chill takes place at Eastnor Castle Deer park, Herefordshire, from 5-8 August