Prickly pastime: Cactus inspires lockdown art project

LONDON (AFP) – What do a match-studded turnip, celeriac embedded with coffee capsules and a kiwano melon decorated with lollipops and pins have in common?

All are the brainchild of a British man trying to keep busy during lockdown, reproducing the shape of the novel coronavirus from everyday objects.

“The idea started a bit randomly,” Lorenzo Saa told AFP at his flat in north London.

“I have a cactus at the house, one of these beautiful round ones, and it sat there and I looked at it and it made me think of all these images that we were seeing of COVIDs. And so I had some felt balls, I put them on the cactus, and it was like, ‘Oh my goodness, this is COVID-19’.” Saa, who works for an investment consulting firm, spends four hours a day on his increasingly inventive creations before posting them to a dedicated Instagram account, ‘covid19replicas’. Most of his creations start with a round fruit or vegetable, to which he adds everyday objects to depict the different-sized stalks of the virus.

So far he has used items including candles, radishes, buttons, flowers, cloves, dried pasta and incense sticks.

With the exception of the incense sticks, Saa has made it a point of principle to try to eat all of his creations, and views it as a way of staying healthy and supporting the community. “Fruit and vegetables… are much better for the environment, plus they’re better for your health,” he said.

Lorenzo Saa, who has created the Instagram account called @covid19replicas, where he posts pictures of his replica creations of the COVID-19 virus’s he makes from fruit, vegetables and household objects. PHOTO: AFP