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22 January 2008

Foodscape Food Art Feast Frenzy

Photographer Carl Warner painstakingly captures all forms of food in a series of still life's with edible ingredients he raided from his kitchen cupboards to design a series of dreamy landscapes and homey domestic scenes that appear scrumptiously good enough to eat.

The resourceful and ingenious series requires numerous shots -- Carl first sketches out a traditional landscape scene before introducing the food. Each scene is then captured in separate layers to prevent the food from wilting. He then uses computer technology to combine them into a single final print.

To give a realistic 3-D feel to the photos, each still life is composed on an 8 foot by 4 foot table. The foreground is only about 2 feet across.

The artist from Tonbridge, Kent creates amazing panoramas, including a broccoli forest, bread mountains, a cheese village, and smoked salmon seas. "I like the way smaller aspects of nature resembled larger ones." says Warner.

The success of the project has motivated Warner to plan for the images to be released in an educational book to encourage kids to eat healthier. He says his 'Foodscapes' were partly inspired by healthy eating campaigns, but they haven't persuaded his own children to take up the 5-a-day pledge. "But at least they don't play with their food as much as I do." said Carl.

Take a close look at this dusk scene and you'll discover it's good enough to eat -- the pebbles and rocks are potatoes and soda bread, while the red sky at night and sea are entirely formed of strips of salmon.

A forest of greens -- the road is paved with cumin, peas hang from broccoli trees and cauliflower clouds adorn the sky with bread for mountains. Broccoli Forest was one Warner's first creations while experimenting with still life shots.

More Mozzarangelo than Michelangelo -- it's amazing to think that this scene first began on a bread and cheese board.

This Italian inspired rural scene includes a lasagna cart, fields of pasta, a pine nut wall, mozzarella clouds, trees of peppers and chilies and a parmesan village.

A winter landscape for carnivores - Parma ham and breadsticks are fashioned into a sled which is pulled across a snow-covered road made from a selection of cold meats.

"We are stepping back, not to see the big picture, but the detail." Warner says of his works.

"It's not just a case of change of context, but a refinement brought on by the loss of a dimension -- compression, distillation, that defines lens-based imagery."

Born in 1965, the distinctive photographer's artwork also includes urban landscapes of industrial decay, dormant gas tankers, and an earlier series of photographs "over what we create we have no control," exploring rail yards.

Carl Warner's solo exhibitions include 'Sense' at the Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne in 1995 and 'A Concrete Pasture' at the University Art Museum, University of Queensland, Brisbane in 1998 and Cairns Regional Gallery in 1999.

Warner's work has been included in 'Retro Version' at the Canberra Contemporary Art Space in 1999, the Queensland Art Gallery touring exhibition, 'The Art of Inclusion' in 1999-2000, and 'Minimal' at the Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney in 2000.

Visit Carl Warner at his website to view more of his unusual and remarkable works, or shoot him an email with your inquiries.

Article by Deborah Petersen from Life in the Fast Lane. Submit your thoughts - click here!

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