With food art there appear to be two main categories: art created using food, and food created using art materials. Artist and knitwear designer Kate Jenkins creates the latter. Known for her delectable yarn dishes, Jenkins has showcased her work in exhibitions and has amassed well over 20k followers on Instagram. She also creates commissioned pieces for both public and private collections.
But the journey to being a successful food artist was a long one and demanded patience and grit. “I was around the age of eight when I learned to knit and crochet,” she recalls on her website. “Right from the beginning, I was addicted. I spent many happy hours in my childhood home in Wales totally engrossed in creating ‘things’ with yarn!”
Years later, and her passion for yarn only grew stronger. “It didn’t take me long to realize that I was much better at interpreting an idea by creating it in 3d using wool rather than through painting or drawing,” she admits. This led her to the University of Brighton where she graduated with a BA in Fashion and Textiles in 1995. From then, she built a successful career as a knitwear designer, with her designs used by some of the world’s most famous labels, including Missoni, Donna Karan, and Ralph Lauren.
“I was always looking for different ways to use my love of wool, textile, and color,” writes Jenkins. “And that’s how my art was born.” Fascinated by the every day, and particularly food, she began to reinvent things like fish and chips using only wool. Her intuition proved to be correct, with other people admiring her recreations.
“While my journey has been varied and exciting, one thing never changes,” she writes. “Whatever I create, whether it’s a carton of French fries, a tin of sardines or a box of frogs I always include lots of warmth and a dash of wit. Above all, I want my work to make people smile.”