Pottering about with jellybeans makes great art

By Alan Solomon


Forget the paint, one of the world's most recognisable pieces of art - the Mona Lisa - has been recreated using 17,500 jellybeans and will be on show in Rotorua from this weekend.

It has taken 61,042 jellybeans, $20,000, 260 hours of manpower, a 240km road trip from Auckland and a gondola ride to the top of Mt Ngongotaha to get four pieces of jellybean art on display at Skyline Rotorua.

The pieces of jellybean artworks on display also depict Harry Potter, a starry night and a wave crest.

Skyline Rotorua sales and marketing manager David Blackmore said they wanted to do something unique customers would enjoy and came up with the idea of a purpose-built permanent jellybean concept store and gallery.

"This is a New Zealand first and when the store opens this Saturday, there will be seven pellets of jellybeans and every conceivable flavour you can think of," he said.

Mr Blackmore said they also had a jellybean spinning wheel where people could win either a good- or bad-tasting jellybean.

"We have flavours like baby wipes, dog food, mouldy cheese, toothpaste and rotten eggs and they really do taste like these things," he said.

Other flavours were chocolate pudding, cafe latte, sizzling cinnamon and bubblegum.

There would also be 50 plastic tubes containing 50,000 jellybeans and people could buy and taste a single jellybean which had 50 different flavours.

Bootleg Design general manager Carl Moody, the company behind the artwork, said they specialised in oddball designs and it took eight members of staff to complete the jellybean artworks.

"We had to place the jellybeans as you would making a brush stroke and it took us six weeks to finish," he said.

Even though they were not open to the public yet, Australian tourist Byron Parnell, 10, got a sneak peak of the artwork through a window. His mother immediately recognised the Mona Lisa but young Byron recognised what the art was made of.

"Wow, yummy, I want to eat them all right now,' he said.

The artworks were glued on with a lacquer, encased with protective glass and each one weighed more than 50kg.

All artworks are free to view.

- ROTORUA DAILY POST

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