Exploding jelly

Photographer Ryan Hopkinson has collaborated with jellymongers Bompas & Parr to explore what happens when powerful explosives are detonated inside jellies. The images serve to demonstrate the kinetic, social, biological, nutritional and temporal potential of a single dish and ask the viewer to look again at what’s on the end of their spoon.

Ryan Hopkinson comments:
“Shooting the exploding jellies was technically challenging. Once the explosion is in progress the jellies become complex moving optical lenses. The light energy from the explosion travels through them at the same time as they are distorted, wobbled and eventually ripped apart by the force. It’s a fascinating spectacle.”

Sam Bompas of Bompas & Parr says:
“We’ve been obsessed with the alluring wobble of jellies and explosions for years. The sad thing is that each delights for a moment before fading. And there’s always a fearsome mess to clean up in the aftermath. When Ryan got in touch with us the collaborative project was the chance to fix the transient beauty of both explosions and jellies in a photograph and defy. Blowing up jellies is always a joy.”

The jellies are made from gelatine dye and water and have a consistency similar to human flesh. The destruction of food (one of the few artistic mediums axiomatic to human existence) poses questions around mortality and the transience of the creative moment. The moulds were based on the forms Bompas & Parr use for funeral jellies, a revival and modern reinterpretation of a neglected tradition of the funeral ceremony, the funeral cake.

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