The other day I got an email about art. This is not normal, most of my emails are about vitamin supplements or low calorie cake – but as I read on I realised this wasn’t normal art – it was art made with food, and healthy food at that. The artist, Amber – aka @rawveganblonde – creates images using fresh fruit and vegetables, photographs them and then makes them into limited edition prints. Now as I’m too busy eating my salads to think ‘do you know what, this lettuce and cucumber combo would make a blooming great picture’ I figured someone who had put that thought together deserved some publicity. Plus, the whole thing intrigued me hugely and and needed to know more – so I fired off a few questions…
Q: How did you come up with the idea?
A: I love fruit and veg not only for their nutritional super powers but also their aesthetic appeal too. I’m fascinated by their different varieties, shapes, colours, textures etc. and one day I thought it might be interesting to make a design with them so I used some fruit I had to hand and a handful of autumn leaves that were blowing about outside and made a pattern with them on an old flagstone doorstep at my home. It got an amazing response when I posted a photo of it on Instagram, so I did a few more compositions and it went from there!
Q: What’s your favourite produce to work with and why?
A: Pineapples! I use them a lot in my designs as I not only love them to eat but they have great physical structure and form with beautiful tortoise shell-like skin, regal spiky leaves and bright yellow flesh.
Q: What’s the biggest problem working with food?
A: In the summer I have to work quickly with ingredients with a soft leaf like lettuce, spinach and basil etc. as they can soon wilt. I use lemon juice or acidulated water to prevent anything that might discolour or brown and I like to keep my work area clean and tidy so things like broccoli which can crumble into tiny bits when you slice it and fruit and veg with a staining juice like beetroot and pomegranates are always treated with caution as things can soon get messy!
Q: Anything you’ve realised you can’t work with and why?
Nuts, seeds and dried fruit are more difficult as they don’t have much of a natural ‘flow’ so composing a design made up solely of them can be more challenging but I’ve even used fresh fish (in a composition for a client who wanted something a bit different) and the smell of mackerel in a warm studio was quite intense but I’m not fazed by much so I’ve not found anything I can’t work with so far!
The end results look something like the print below and cost £180 via Amber’s website site ambaliving.com should you want to check them out.
All images copyright @ambaliving