A South Australian artist has been inspired by the state’s iconic ‘frog cake’ to help raise money for mental health research. The traditional frog cake is a dessert in the shape of a frog’s head, made up of sponge cake and cream, and covered with fondant. It was created by South Australia’s famous Balfours Bakery in 1922. In 2001 the frog cake was listed as a state Heritage Icon by the National Trust of South Australia. David Ellis-Moseley has turned the traditional frog cake into an artistic piece made of ceramic, wood, resin or silver at the Adelaide Jam Factory. “My brain went immediately to the frog cake,” he said. “And when I looked at it I thought… this is such a fantastic form and has such a strong place in South Australians’ hearts.”
Ten of the frog cake artworks are being auctioned off at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute’s Centre for Wellbeing and Resilience to raise money for mental health research. “We looked into what they were doing there. We really believe strongly that having a happier and more resilient South Australia is better for all of our futures,” Ellis-Moseley said. Ellis-Moseley is also curating a frog cake exhibition alongside fellow local artist Klaus Gutowski. Together they have enlisted the help of other local artists, including Bruce Nuske, who have paired up with South Australian personalities to create 140 unique frog cake artworks. Personalities involved in the project include Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne, former premier Lyn Arnold, celebrity chef Adam Liaw, and state Health and Arts Minister Jack Snelling. “It’s been really nice to get my head out of health space and collaborate with a great artist like Bruce and for such a great cause,” Mr Snelling said. Mr Snelling paired up with Nuske, who is a ceramics expert. Nuske combined information about the Minister’s public and family life to come up with a final design. “He plays chess with his children so there’s a chessboard and he’s a member of an amateur boxing club so I put little boxing gloves on there,” Nuske said. The remaining 130 frog cake artworks will be on sale at the Light Square Gallery from Friday.
This article and image first appeared ABC, 5 March 2015.