An office worker from Hampshire who missed her regular visits to art galleries during the pandemic has turned her passion for art into toast.
Caroline Barnes, a human resources business partner at the University of Portsmouth, has been working from home since March.
She began turning her daily lunches into works of art using everyday foods in her cupboards and posting the pictures on a staff messaging group, to amuse her colleagues.
Her first toast art was The Scream, by Edvard Munch, prompted by her frustration that a planned Easter holiday trip to the US and Canada was cancelled due to the pandemic.
The photo attracted hundreds of likes from colleagues, inspiring Caroline to keep trying to recreate different paintings.
She said: “At the beginning of lockdown and with my monthly visits to the National Gallery on hold, I thought I'd try to transfer the art I was missing to toast.
“It’s tricky to match the original, especially to keep the scale, and make sure it’s edible.”
Through making toast art, Caroline has come to appreciate art in a new way.
She said: “Although Grant Wood’s American Gothic painting wasn’t my favourite painting, it was lovely to eat. I made the woman's body a pig in a blanket and bacon makes everything taste better.
“My favourite artist is Caravaggio but his works are too complex for toast art.
“Of all the toast art I’ve made, my favourite to eat was Picasso’s Woman in a Hat as it’s the closest to what I’d normally eat for lunch.
“I enjoyed trying to recreate the intricacies of some of Munch’s work, too.”
Caroline, 56, was born and bred in Portsmouth. She was inspired to try food art after visiting Japan for the Rugby World Cup last year where she saw “amazing food art” for the first time.
“I don’t have the same skill or patience to do it to that level, but with galleries closed for months, I wanted to try and combine my passion for looking at art with the need to make lunch every day and this is what I came up with. Sharing pictures of my creations on our staff group was just a bit of fun.”
“I’m not a natural artist, just a lunchtime one.