Offbeat Video

By Josh Saunders


Artists have recreated the series of a nuclear detonation from mushrooms to document the damage to food sources from war using the ‘DESTROYER OF WORLDS.’

Henry Hargreaves and Caitlin Levin, both 38, from Brooklyn, New York, USA, spent half-a-day creating a polystyrene mould, pinning and rigging the fungi, before shooting each piece.

PICS BY HENRY HARGREAVES / CATERS NEWS

They wanted to remind world leaders about the after-effects of nuclear fallout to food supplies, aside from the immediate human casualties.

Finding it ‘surreal’ that politicians use the threat of the ‘world destroying’ bombs in international bargaining they set about producing the five pieces.

Using the mushrooms, they captured the stages of nuclear detonation, showing initial explosion to the hauntingly synonymous cloud that hovers using varying fungi.

A nuclear bomb was dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki ending World War 2 after it wiped out more than 120,000 people and killing tens of thousands more due to radiation exposure.

It also comes a mere seven-years following the Fukushima disaster after an earthquake disturbed an energy plant.

The repercussions of nuclear damage have decimated the land for future produce and ruined fishing areas in the pacific.

PICS BY HENRY HARGREAVES / CATERS NEWS

Henry, originally from Christchurch, New Zealand, said: “I certainly didn’t think in our lifetime that the threat of nukes and how casually it’s being discussed and used as an international bargaining chip would be back on the table.

“It’s stupid not learning from our mistakes and is surreal that this conversation has come back out.

“We look at nuclear warfare being about the loss of human lives but not, if one of these bombs was detonated, how it would render an entire global region unable to produce any food for generations to come.

“We wanted to bring the conversation back and look at it that way, while playing on the idea of the mushroom cloud.

PICS BY HENRY HARGREAVES / CATERS NEWS

“The pieces show the different stages of a nuclear detonation and the wide one with a ring around it is the vapour ring that comes out when it detonates.

“They are different stages of it going up and then splitting into two pieces, the head from the body, if you look at an actual explosion we see the different stages.

“The one with the ring we are most proud of as it was the most difficult to make, to rig it all up and shoot it with the lightning coming down.

“It’s almost the hedonism of something sweet and cute to describe the killer of worlds and man’s most terrifying thing. 

“When we started we didn’t have access to as many types or varieties of mushrooms as we wanted, for each one we wanted a different type to make it more visually appealing.  

“Each one took us half a day to make, we fashioned a shape out of polystyrene and then pinned all of the mushrooms on.

“We had to work relatively quickly because they start to go a little bit slimy, look bad and fall off.”

PICS BY HENRY HARGREAVES / CATERS NEWS

The two creatives who collaborated on the pieces over several months in spare days hope it reminds people of the wider implications of nuclear fallout.

Henry said: “The ramifications go much deeper than the direct casualties of war.

“We wanted to bring that all back and turn the mushroom cloud into being made of food and the relationship between food and nuclear war.

“We are conscious about wasting food, so we tried to be as streamlined as we could, although saying we waste, the food lives on in the pictures.

“Even so, we try not to be too gratuitous, most of them were made of around ten punnets of different types of mushrooms and the leftovers I made into soup.”

PICS BY HENRY HARGREAVES / CATERS NEWS

“We are conscious about wasting food, so we tried to be as streamlined as we could, although saying we waste, the food lives on in the pictures.

“Even so, we try not to be too gratuitous, most of them were made of around ten punnets of different types of mushrooms and the leftovers I made into soup.”

To see more of Henry’s work visit: www.henryhargreaves.com.