Born in Liverpool England in 1963, Carl now lives in Kent and works from his London based studio near to London Bridge’s colourful food emporium of Borough Market. Influenced by artists such as Salvador Dali and Patrick Woodroofe and having worked as a photographer in the advertising business for 25 years, Carl stumbled on the idea of making landscapes out of food just over ten years ago. The foodscapes are created in his London Studio, where they are built on top of a large purpose built triangular table top. The scenes are photographed in layers from foreground to background and sky as the process is very time consuming and so the food quickly wilts under the lights. Each element is then put together in post production to achieve the final image. See the “making of” further below and visit his website www.carlwarner.com for more of his works.
Why do you choose to focus your landscapes around food?
I use mainly food as the organic material is natural and mimics the larger aspects of nature in shape, structure, texture and colour. Though I do make landscapes from clothes and cities from office supplies and ironmongery.
How long does it approximately take to prepare a food landscape set for a shoot?
Normally a day or so to prepare the set and then one to several days to shoot it.
What are the steps of creating the food landscapes?
“It begins with an idea, either from a client or from something I have seen as a landscape or as ingredients that give me ideas. I imagine the scene in my head and then I draw the scene as a sketch. From here I decide what ingredients will be used to make the scene, and I work with my food stylist and my model maker to build the scene on a large table top in my studio. This can take several days depending on the complexity of the scene and it is sometimes shot in layers in order to work quickly with the fresh produce.”
What do you try to transmit with your foodscapes?
I like to make people smile. The work is whimsical and fun. I call it “The pleasant deception” My work is being used as a vehicle to promote healthy eating, nutritional education and good diet, so I am glad that the work can make people happy and hopefully do some good in the world.
Please tell us about your most memorable or funny experience while doing this job.
The most memorable experience was when I made a seascape out of fish. It took all day long and into the evening working with fish which were obviously very smelly, but because it took all day, we grew used to the smell, so when we went home we did not know how bad we smelt! So when my son picked me up from the station that evening he said I smelt so bad that he drove all the way home with his head out of the car window. So all the people I sat next to on the train must have suffered this fishy smelling man in silence!
What would you consider to be the most wackiest thing you’ve ever done in life?
Eating Magic Mushrooms!
All images © Carl Warner