For over a decade, artist Jimmy Fike traveled across the continental United States in an epic effort to photograph wild edible flora. Edible Plants is the culmination of that journey, featuring over 100 photographs that Fike has selectively colorized to highlight the comestible part of the plant.
While the images initially appear to be scientific illustrations or photograms from the dawn of photography when plants were placed directly on sensitized paper and exposed under the sun, a closer look reveals, according to Liesl Bradner of the Los Angeles Times, "haunting and] eerily beautiful" photographs. Beyond instilling wonder, Fike's contemporary, place-based approach to landscape photography emphasizes our relationship to the natural world, reveals food sources, and encourages environmental stewardship. His clever and beautiful method makes it easy to identify both the specimen and its edible parts and includes detailed descriptions about the plant's wider purposes as food and medicine.
Sumptuously illustrated and delightfully informative, Edible Plants is the perfect gift for anyone curious about unlocking the secrets of native North American plants.
Jimmy W. Fike was born in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1970. Even at an early age he showed a penchant for art and a love for exploring nature. He earned a BA in Art from Auburn University and an MFA in Photography from the Cranbrook Academy of Art. Fike's photographs have been exhibited extensively across the United States, published in the Washington Post, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, Mother Jones, and can be found in the permanent collections of the George Eastman Museum, St. Lawrence University, and the University of Alabama Birmingham. He currently lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his daughter, Isobel, and dogs, Sallie and Scrappy, where he works as Residential Art Faculty at Estrella Mountain Community College.