Who Says Art Can Only Be Found on Canvas?

Or paper, or board… you know what we mean. An artist’s unexpected instruments can also be made of sugar glaze or edible beads and her palette of a rainbow of food colouring concoctions. Under the edible art rubric, we found Hala Audi Beydoun’s fanciful, unique cookies both scrumptious and inspiring.

(I wrote this article for my other newsletter, featuring Hala's very funky, very risqué Valentine's Day cookies - there are many more amazing pictures on my site)

Adorned with delicate arabesques and boisterous colours, Hala’s completely original creations are lovely little objets d’art. A little Gaudi, a little baroque, a little Pop-Art, Hala’s filigreed cookies and bold cakes are crafted and painted by hand – no two are ever exactly the same.

Although thematic by necessity - her work is commercial after all - Hala is never constrained by the expected limits of her craft. From designing and manufacturing her original shape cutters to riffing on a favourite theme, Hala’s muse takes many forms – images from popular culture, ornate fabric, travel and sight-seeing.

Ol' Blue Eyes
On a recent sailing trip to the coast of Turkey, Hala was struck by the brilliant hues of the traditional “Blue Eyes” and “Hands of Fatima” talismans, a folkloric and prevailing leitmotiv in that region. From this inspiration, she created these unique, bewitching and scrumptious confections.

The Wedding Thing
A deliciously allegoric representation of modern marriage, Hala’s latest wedding cake is a contemporary confection, laced with both humour and foreboding. Since the wedding in question was to take place on the 1st of April, Hala chose fish to decorate the first layer – a wink to the traditional French “poisson d’avril”. The bride and groom cookies adorning the top were fashioned from the groom’s original sketch.

Be my Valentine
Hala enjoys visual puns – one of her favourite valentine creations is a gift box featuring a yellow chick cookie and a red hot pepper cookie (for all those “Hot Chicks” out there, of course).
Another valentine favourite is a trio of more traditional shapes likes lips and hearts, but rendered with bright hues and varying textures.
But the magnum opus of the valentine collection is the naughty (and comical) adults-only “Kama Sucra™” line – a hilarious cornucopia of erotica in a winking nod to Keith Haring and inspired by E. Jaye's Cookie Sutra book (Thomas Allen & Son, Canada), as well as a line of startlingly mischievous adult-theme cookie series ("Cookie Sucra™", parental discretion strongly advised). These and other creations by Hala can be viewed at the Maraya Galleries main website: http://www.marayagalleries.com/MaraZines/MarazinefullCocoa&co.htm

Hedonism with a message
But for all the fun she’s having crafting these delightful creations, Hala still manages to combine hedonism with a socially conscious message. With her recently created company, Cocoa & Co™, Hala has often participated pro-bono in such worthy campaigns as the “Buy a Cookie, Feed a Child” fundraiser for the ARC in Beirut. She also doesn’t shy from controversy, dressing some of her innumerable “Husband Cookies™” with politically charged slogans and heart-felt statements.

Until her upcoming website debuts online, you can contact Hala through Maraya Galleries (customerservice@marayagalleries.com) to share your comments or place an order (currently available for the Middle East and Europe, coming soon to Canada and the US).
(I saw a preview of the Cocoa & Co site - it's adorable... I'm providing a link as soon as one is available and you can then contact Hala directly)

1 comment:

Bobbie said...

I was just revisiting these links from your recent post about Hala. I just absolutly love these cookies. I dabbled just a tiny bit with making cakes and decorating them and I can tell you they are a lot of work. But Hala makes them look easy and so creative and original. Wonderful artwork. May she regain her health and soon and continue making these wonderful creations.