Seed art probably has been around since the dawn of agrarian societies.
If you’ve ever been to the Minnesota State Fair, you already know the “crop art” genre lends itself to quirky renditions of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” or portraits of Elvis Presley made from wild rice and mung beans.
To illustrate the concept of culinary fusion, we asked Kansas City/Dallas-based food stylist Karen Elizabeth Watts to depict the world using a diverse array of colorful edible seeds, beans, pulses, nuts and dried fruit.
Our art project took three days to complete: Watts started out by measuring a 36-by-36-inch square on The Star’s studio floor and painting it sea-blue. Next she arranged the continents (yes, with a bit of man-made continental drift, for the sake of our cover dimensions) and drew them onto the floor. Finally, while stretched out across the floor on her stomach, she filled in the outlines using her fingers and bamboo skewers. (No sneezing, please!)
To capture the final image, photographer Tammy Ljungblad hovered above the artwork from an 8-foot ladder. To record the entire process, videographer Monty Davis rigged a Go Pro video camera to snap an image every five seconds, shooting 3,480 images. By speeding those images up by 500 percent, you can see the entire cover come together in 22 seconds at bit.ly/foodissue2016.
As is often the case with a great meal, cleanup was vastly easier than the setup: With a few swipes of a broom, our blue-ribbon seed art was headed for the dust bin.