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Photo: Anna Chojnicka via Republic World.
She bruises bananas to make art.

Connie Chang has such a funny and inspiring tale at the Washington Post! You’re going to love this one!

“Anna Chojnicka was bored as she quarantined last year in her London apartment because of a suspected case of covid-19. She was so bored that she absent-mindedly picked up a banana on her kitchen table and started running her fork along the outside of the peel.

“The dark lines that appeared on the peel looked interesting to her, and she watched as the marks gradually got darker. She continued doodling and was soon fascinated. She drew eyes, a nose and a mouth and — satisfied with how it looked — decided to see how far she could go with it. …

“Chojnicka, 35, started making pictures that were more and more intricate using the same method — only pressure, no paint — until she sketched an Ethiopian coffee pot and cup. Her new hobby was born. …

“Since that first day she figured out what she can do by bruising a banana peel, Chojnicka has been posting her daily creations on Twitter and Instagram, where she has thousands of followers. … She inspects her daily sketch, takes a photo and then eats the banana — she doesn’t like waste.

“Her popular banana art ranges from familiar cartoons such as Homer Simpson (which she cheekily labeled ‘self portrait’) to painstakingly rendered portraits of people such as Greta Thunberg. She does puns, like a zipper around a partially peeled banana. She is often inspired by current events, such as the coronavirus vaccine drive. She recently made one with the slogan ‘Empowered women empower women,’ nestled in a yin-yang of two women in profile.

“ ‘Bananas have a really beautiful way of going from yellow to black by way of gold, orange, and brown,’ said Chojnicka, who liked art as a child but hadn’t practiced it much as an adult until last year. …

“Her art comes to life by oxidization. Just like apples, bananas oxidize, or turn brown, as the enzymes in their cells are released and interact with the oxygen in the air. Cells that are damaged — because they’ve been poked with a fork or dropped on the floor — brown faster. By varying when she applied the marks, Chojnicka discovered that she could create a palette of shades, resulting in surprisingly intricate pictures.

‘I saw an opportunity to put it to some good,’ said Chojnicka, whose day job is working for a company that supports local businesses focused on social or environmental issues.

“With the help of her social media followers, she has raised about $1,600 for FareShare, a charity in the United Kingdom that provides food to people in need. Admirers, moved or just amused by Chojnicka’s art, have donated to the organization through the fundraising site JustGiving.

“Once she realized her fruity art had a following, she decided to branch out into other causes close to her heart. She helped bring attention to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which aims to address the country’s energy shortage. She felt close to that project, she said, because she worked in Ethiopia for four years and said the dam ‘has the potential to lift people out of poverty.’ …

“Among her most popular pieces was a banana she made in February scrawled with the word ‘banana’ in different languages. ‘What language(s) do you speak? Do you see your language here?’ she asked in a caption on the post. Responses flooded in from all over the world: Brazil, the United States, South America, Africa, Asia and Europe.

“The post ended up ‘sparking separate conversations between people around the commonalities in their languages,’ Chojnicka said. …

“Chojnicka said she realizes that bruising a banana to make a sketch isn’t everyone’s thing. But for anyone who might want to give it a try, she has a few tips.”

The tips are fascinating. For example, she shows how to get different shades of brown by waiting different periods of time. Learn more at the Washington Post, here.

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