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A Giant Button Shows Bristol’s History Through Chocolate

By: Yichi Lin

In Bristol, England, a huge button made entirely out of Fairtrade chocolate is on display at the Glenside Hospital Museum. It is a really ginormous button, as it is 3.2 meters high. That’s as tall as two normal humans stacked on top of each other.

The button is made up of two large circles. One outlines the center part, and the other, the whole button. It is shaped like a typical button on a shirt. The inner circle contains four smaller circles, which are hollow, and the outer is labeled with the county’s name, Bristol.

This simple sculpture of a button, along with five other unique objects that represent Bristol’s history, is part of Edible Histories, an art project by sculptor Luke Jerram. He has quite a long history of creating gigantic sculptures in public, including a giant water slide he placed in the center of Bristol in 2014.

Throughout 2023, he has made several pieces a part of the art project in an effort to get more people to visit historical sites and learn about the history of Bristol.

“I hope this new artwork will engage people in finding out about our city’s history, in a fun and interesting way. To engage with history by literally consuming and digesting it!” he stated.

The giant chocolate button represents a local asylum that received and took care of many patients, and where wearable clothes were also made for them.

There is also a long history of chocolate egg-making in the county. 2023 marks 150 years since the first ones were produced by J.S. Fry and Sons in 1873. Another purpose that the button serves is to celebrate the independence of the county, in 1373, which coincidentally makes this year the 650th year of Bristol’s independence.





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