Nothing is as it Seems: The Art of Illusion at Science Gallery

Nothing is as it Seems: The Art of Illusion at Science Gallery zoetropes optical illusion kinetic sculpture exhibition

Nothing is as it Seems: The Art of Illusion at Science Gallery zoetropes optical illusion kinetic sculpture exhibition

Nothing is as it Seems: The Art of Illusion at Science Gallery zoetropes optical illusion kinetic sculpture exhibition

Nothing is as it Seems: The Art of Illusion at Science Gallery zoetropes optical illusion kinetic sculpture exhibition

Some of most amazing contemporary artists working in the realm of optical illusion have been brought together for a fantastic show called Illusion at Science Gallery in Dublin, Ireland. Curated by psychologist and author Richard Wiseman and researched by magician and escapologist (!) Paul Gleeson, the exhibition explores the myriad ways the mind is tricked through sensory deception. The show includes works from Roseline de Thelin, Gregory Barsamian, Matt Kenyon, Jonty Hurwitz (previously), and many more. Illusion runs through September 29, 2013.

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Lake Bondhusvatnet

Lake Bondhusvatnet Norway landscapes lakes

I want to thank photographer Bard Larsen for letting me use this amazing photograph of Lake Bondhusvatnet in Norway as the background on Colossal for the month of September. The lake is in Folgefonna National Park in southern Norway and is fed by the melting water of the Bundhusbreen glacier. Larsen’s documentation of Norwegian landscapes is enough to make you whip out the credit card and buy a one way ticket.

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Rainbow Pencils Made of Recycled Paper

Rainbow Pencils Made of Recycled Paper  rainbows pencils paper drawing

Rainbow Pencils Made of Recycled Paper  rainbows pencils paper drawing

Rainbow Pencils Made of Recycled Paper  rainbows pencils paper drawing

Rainbow Pencils Made of Recycled Paper  rainbows pencils paper drawing

Tokyo-based designer Duncan Shotton, known for his whimsical functional objects like the magnetic cloud keyholder and his Lochness monster pins, just launched a Kickstarter Project for a new kind of pencil that makes rainbows when you sharpen it. Each pencil has a 6-layer rainbow core of recycled paper (not wood) and either a white or black exterior. Shotton says the pencils will ship before Christmas.

Update: Rainbow Pencils are now available in the Colossal Shop.

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HOTTEA Blankets the Williamsburg Bridge in a Rainbow of Thread

HOTTEA Blankets the Williamsburg Bridge in a Rainbow of Thread yarn bombing rainbows New York bridges
Photo © Luna Park

HOTTEA Blankets the Williamsburg Bridge in a Rainbow of Thread yarn bombing rainbows New York bridges
Photo © Luna Park

HOTTEA Blankets the Williamsburg Bridge in a Rainbow of Thread yarn bombing rainbows New York bridges
Photo © Luna Park

HOTTEA Blankets the Williamsburg Bridge in a Rainbow of Thread yarn bombing rainbows New York bridges
Photo © Patrick Sullivan

HOTTEA Blankets the Williamsburg Bridge in a Rainbow of Thread yarn bombing rainbows New York bridges
Photo © Patrick Sullivan

HOTTEA Blankets the Williamsburg Bridge in a Rainbow of Thread yarn bombing rainbows New York bridges
Photo © Patrick Sullivan

Last week Minneapolis artist HOTTEA (previously here and here) stopped by NYC and created this excellent rainbow of thread atop the pedestrian tunnel at the Williamsburg Bridge. Titled Rituals the piece consisted of 2,000 strands that took the artist and his assistants some 11 hours to cut and tie. Photos above courtesy Luna Park and Patrick Sullivan. (via Hyperallergic, Animal)

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Giant Sculptural Floats Covered in Flowers from Corso Zundert 2013

Giant Sculptural Floats Covered in Flowers from Corso Zundert 2013 sculpture parades Netherlands flowers
Bubblegum by Gerard van Erk, Jack Nouws and Brian Boot / Photo © Omroep Brabant

Giant Sculptural Floats Covered in Flowers from Corso Zundert 2013 sculpture parades Netherlands flowers
It Wasn’t Me by Erik van Elsacker, Aart-Jan Borrias and René Jochems / Photo © Omroep Brabant

Giant Sculptural Floats Covered in Flowers from Corso Zundert 2013 sculpture parades Netherlands flowers
Crazy Gold by Steven van Erck and Stefan van Steen / Photo © Niels Braspenning

Giant Sculptural Floats Covered in Flowers from Corso Zundert 2013 sculpture parades Netherlands flowers
Photo © Omroep Brabant

Giant Sculptural Floats Covered in Flowers from Corso Zundert 2013 sculpture parades Netherlands flowers
Vennus of Milos by Robin Schijfs, Jesse Verheijen and Ton van Beek / Photo © Niels Braspenning

Giant Sculptural Floats Covered in Flowers from Corso Zundert 2013 sculpture parades Netherlands flowers
Photo © Omroep Brabant

Giant Sculptural Floats Covered in Flowers from Corso Zundert 2013 sculpture parades Netherlands flowers
Spring Chicken by Kees Oomen / Photo © Niels Braspenning

Giant Sculptural Floats Covered in Flowers from Corso Zundert 2013 sculpture parades Netherlands flowers
Tricked by Jos van Aert and Erwin Braspenning / Photo © Niels Braspenning

Giant Sculptural Floats Covered in Flowers from Corso Zundert 2013 sculpture parades Netherlands flowers
Monsters by Sander van Hooydonk, Fedde van Erk and Gijs Leijdekkers / Photo © Niels Braspenning

Giant Sculptural Floats Covered in Flowers from Corso Zundert 2013 sculpture parades Netherlands flowers
Gordel by Roy Verdaesdonck and Niek van den Broek / Photo © Omroep Brabant

It’s the biggest time of year for the small town of Zundert in the Netherlands. Twenty gigantic floats were paraded through the city as part of Corso Zundert (previously), an annual flower parade that sees teams of designers and artisans compete to build the most original sculpture covered almost completely with dahlia flowers.

Several floats appearing in Corso Zundert this year contained moving parts, including the winner, Crazy Gold, that had some 53 moving components. You can see a ranking of this years competitors over on Croso Zundert, videos on YouTube, and many more photos courtesy Omroep Brabant.

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Atom-Lapse: A Timelapse of André Waterkeyn’s Iconic Atomium Building

Atom Lapse: A Timelapse of André Waterkeyns Iconic Atomium Building timelapse Brussels atoms architecture

Atom Lapse: A Timelapse of André Waterkeyns Iconic Atomium Building timelapse Brussels atoms architecture

Atom Lapse: A Timelapse of André Waterkeyns Iconic Atomium Building timelapse Brussels atoms architecture

Designed by engineer André Waterkeyn for the 1958 World’s Fair in Brussels, Belgium, Atomium is a 102m (335 ft) tall model of a unit cell of an iron crystal (each sphere representing an atom) enlarged 165 billion times. Filmmaker Richard Bently was allowed access to shoot this great exterior and interior timelapse of the building which is comprised of 27 sequences filmed over five nights and two days. (via Vimeo)

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Secret Fore-Edge Paintings Revealed in Early 19th Century Books at the University of Iowa

Secret Fore Edge Paintings Revealed in Early 19th Century Books at the University of Iowa seasons painting illustration fore edge painting books
Autumn by Robert Mudie / Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa

Secret Fore Edge Paintings Revealed in Early 19th Century Books at the University of Iowa seasons painting illustration fore edge painting books
Autumn by Robert Mudie / Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa

Secret Fore Edge Paintings Revealed in Early 19th Century Books at the University of Iowa seasons painting illustration fore edge painting books
Winter by Robert Mudie / Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa

Secret Fore Edge Paintings Revealed in Early 19th Century Books at the University of Iowa seasons painting illustration fore edge painting books
Winter by Robert Mudie / Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa

Secret Fore Edge Paintings Revealed in Early 19th Century Books at the University of Iowa seasons painting illustration fore edge painting books
Spring by Robert Mudie / Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa

Secret Fore Edge Paintings Revealed in Early 19th Century Books at the University of Iowa seasons painting illustration fore edge painting books
Spring by Robert Mudie / Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa

Secret Fore Edge Paintings Revealed in Early 19th Century Books at the University of Iowa seasons painting illustration fore edge painting books
Summer by Robert Mudie / Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa

Secret Fore Edge Paintings Revealed in Early 19th Century Books at the University of Iowa seasons painting illustration fore edge painting books
Summer by Robert Mudie / Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa

A few days ago Colleen Theisen who helps with outreach and instruction at the Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa shared an amazing gif she made that demonstrates something called fore-edge painting on the edge of a 1837 book called Autumn by Robert Mudie. Fore-edge painting, which is believed to date back as early as the 1650s, is a way of hiding a painting on the edge of a book so that it can only be seen when the pages are fanned out. There are even books that have double fore-edge paintings, where a different image can be seen by flipping the book over and fanning the pages in the opposite direction.

When I realized the book Theisen shared was only one of a series about the seasons, I got in touch and she agreed to photograph the other three so we could share them with you here. Above are photos of Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter which were donated to the University of Iowa by Charlotte Smith. How much fun are these? Keep an eye on the University of Iowa’s special collections Tumblr as they unearth more artificats from the archives.

Update: Because this post is getting so much attention, here are some more amazing fore-edge paintings found on YouTube.

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