Working from home means you’ve got a little more time and space to be creative with your lunch.
And one university worker has really gone all out with the break time creativity by creating works of art from pieces of toast.
Caroline Barnes, a human resources business partner at the University of Portsmouth, began turning her daily lunches into works of art to amuse her colleagues while working at home during the pandemic.
Her first piece was based on The Scream by Edvard Munch which was prompted by her frustration at a planned Easter holiday to the US and Canada being cancelled.
The 56-year-old from Portsmouth, Hampshire, 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.’
She was inspired by food art she saw in Japan when she visited for the Rugby World Cup last year.
She said: ‘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.’
She said the project helped her look at art in a different way but she’s had to think about how it tastes as well as how it looks.
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.’
There have been some pieces she’s had to avoid because of the difficulty of finding blue food.
She added: ‘At the beginning I struggled with paintings with lots of blue as there are no true blue foods.
‘However, I have recently found some blue icing at the back of the larder left, so if I can bring myself to eat royal icing on toast, I have that covered now.’
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