Photography Science

Two Biologists Explore the Remote Rainforests of the Ecuadorian Andes to Document Fungi

January 8, 2018

Christopher Jobson

All photos © Danny Newman

Biologists estimate that 3.2 million species of fungi may exist on Earth, and of that only around 120,000 are known to science which leaves potentially millions organisms of left to discover, photograph, and document before it’s too late. The majority of undescribed species live in the tropics where mycologists Danny Newman and Roo Vandegrift have traveled extensively to document fungi in regions threatened by climate change and development.

In 2014, the pair traveled to Reserva Los Cedros, one of the last unlogged watersheds on the western slope of the Andes, where they took all of the photos seen here. The reserve has since been declared open for mining by the Ecuadorian government and the habitat that spawned these unusual mushrooms is slated for destruction. “The identification and description of rare or endemic species from the reserve will help demonstrate the value of these habitats and the importance of their conservation,” shares Newman about the project.

As part of a January residency at the University of Oregon, Newman is now working to sequence the DNA of 350 fungi samples found at Reserva Los Cedros and is seeking support from the public to help fund the project at cost. You can see more photos from their discoveries in Ecuador on Mushroom Observer. Also, do yourself a favor and check out the caterpillar at 0:50 in the video below.

 

 



Art

New Domestic Objects Wrapped in Needlepoint Scenes by Ulla Stina Wikander

January 8, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Underneath each of artist Ulla Stina Wikander's needlepoint objects is a real, once-functioning appliance, accessory, or tool. Wikander (previously) tends to select objects with traditional associations to domestic life, like sewing machines, ironing boards, and hair dryers. The artist, who is based in Switzerland, combines the retired objects with historical cross-stitch patterns, which she also collects. Each piece is finished with colorful rick-rack detailing to help define the edges and describe the original shape. Wikander recently updated her website with many new works, and you can also follow her on Instagram. (via Cross Connect)

 

 



Art Photography

Surreal Moments Composed with Familiar Objects by Photographer Elspeth Diederix

January 8, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Photographer Elspeth Diederix captures everyday objects and moments in a surreal light. Her photographs are simply presented yet arduously composed, with most images taking days of preparation and design to achieve the right appearance. Although Diederix is inspired by familiar objects, it is when she stumbles across these materials in a foreign landscape that the true magic of her photographic practice is revealed.

“It is only when I am out of my everyday life and free from its repetition that I have the space to truly see what is around me,” Diederix told Time Magazine. “Being in places unknown to me forces those abstract moments to appear more frequently and allows me to concentrate on finding the right location for the right object.”

Diederix was born in Nairobi, Kenya in 1971, and raised in Colombia. She studied painting and sculpture at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam between 1990 and 1995, and at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam from 1998-2000. You can see more of Diederix’s work on her website, and view recent experiments between gardening and photography on her Instagram and blog.

 

 



Design Food

Stairstep Chocolates Designed by Universal Favourite Stack into Cubes of Complementary Flavors

January 5, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Anyone who’s looked down and realized their plate is all beige has felt the full force of the role of color in what we eat. Universal Favourite takes the visual element to another level with their modular Complements chocolate. The Australian design studio created the project as a client gift and developed it into a collaboration with sweets experts Bakedown Cakery. Each modular staircase-shaped chocolate (blackcurrant, cherry, cookies and cream, fairy floss, lemon, matcha, pistachio, shortbread, single origin dark, strawberry, vanilla, and watermelon) fits together with a complementary flavor to form a very visually appealing cube. Bakedown also shares their handiwork on Instagram, as does Universal Favourite. (via Ignant)

 

 



Art

Frenetic Animal Murals by Dzia Swirl to Life Across the World

January 4, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Since we last checked in with Antwerp-based street artist Dzia (previously), the Belgian muralist has been busy adding fauna flair to walls in an increasingly widening swath across the globe. Recent projects have taken him to China, Norway, and Spain. Dzia, who is classically trained with a masters in fine art at the Royal Academy in Antwerp, primarily depicts wild animals — foxes and birds seem to be recurring favorites. His unique style creates a mosaic of colors following the contours of the animal’s form. In his more recent work, Dzia has begun to add tonal shading within each defined area, adding a sense of volume to the well-defined figures. You can follow his work and travels on Instagram.

 

 



Photography

Nearly Frozen ‘Slurpee’ Waves Surge off the Coast of Nantucket

January 4, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

All photos © Jonathan Nimerfroh. Licensed for use on Colossal.

With single digit temperatures and massive snow storms sweeping the northern United States, it’s no surprise that most things are going to freeze. This includes the waves just off the shore of Nantucket, which turned into a slurry of rolling ice when temperatures dropped to 12 degrees Fahrenheit this week. On January 2nd photographer Jonathan Nimerfroh not only captured the phenomena of these partially frozen waves crashing against the shore, but also an extremely brave surfer (Jamie Briard) weathering the icy conditions.

“I ran up and down the beach, taking as many shots as I could of this freezing, fleeting show of nature,” Nimerfroh tells Colossal. “Slurpee waves are the kind of thing you might only be lucky enough to see once, so I count myself as very lucky to have seen them twice.”

Just two years ago the photographer captured waves of a similar slushy consistency off the same shore. You can follow more of Nimerfroh’s seaside photography on Instagram.

 

 



Art

The Dripping and Undulating Ceramic Sculptures of Toru Kurokawa

January 4, 2018

Christopher Jobson

Black Mountain, 2015. Ceramic. 39 2/5 × 31 1/2 × 39 2/5 in

Japanese artist Toru Kurokawa sculpts improbable liquid and biological shapes from a variety of ceramic materials. What begins life as a mere lump of clay, the artist molds and carves into artworks that appear like arrays of honeycomb, undulating coral, or dripping stalactites. Last year Kurokawa had a solo show with Sokyo Gallery titled The Savage Math, and you can see more of his work on Artsy. (via Sophie Gunnol)

 

 

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