When you were a kid, flavors came in colors. Anything bright red was the pinnacle of what all “fruit” should be. Green candies were tolerable. Yellow ones made you wince in a good way–that is, if you hadn’t been duped into eating a banana-flavored confection. You weren’t really sure what licorice was but found both the taste and color unseemly, to be avoided like actual fruit.
It would be a little while before you began to question the binding of blue to raspberry, or figured out that purple grapes don’t actually yield inky, stain-your-teeth juice. But until then, you would savor the synaesthetic joys that Red No. 40, Blue No. 1, Green No. 3, and Yellow No. 5 had to offer.
“Sugar Series” by photographer Emily Blincoe will take you back to simpler sugar-addled times. The images depict a huge assortment of candy, grouped by color and arranged in an appealingly tidy manner. Childhood favorites (sour gummy tape, Pop Rocks, Warheads) rub shoulders with vintage candies (Mary Janes, Black Jack chewing gum) and even a few foreign offerings (British Mars bar, anyone?). They’re all displayed against walls of pastel paint, ranging from sky blue to pink to gold.
Blincoe sourced all of her subjects from a bulk candy store in Austin, Texas, where she lives and works. The search was a treat in itself, she says. “It was really fun seeing some items that I haven’t seen since I was a kid, like the waxy soda bottles or the dots on paper,” she tells Co.Design. Funnily enough, Blincoe says she was never big on candy. Like all kids, she indulged now and then, but she never fostered deep cravings for the stuff.
What she does enjoy, however, is collecting and styling. Candy appealed to her photographic sensibilities, a chance to highlight details like the candies’ wrapper designs and textural variety. The project is just one in a series of “things organized neatly” that Blincoe has produced and posted to her various social media channels in the last year. She’s even done a different take on the theme using vegetables and fruits. It’s a kind of visual juice fast after cycling through the “Sugar Series.”
“I am all over the place with what I like to shoot,” Blincoe says. “I don’t see that as a bad thing. I’m just interested in so many different things.” She photographs people, places, and things, but none are as universally nostalgic as candy. There’s enough variety here to satisfy any sweet tooth.