New Toadstool Sculptures Crafted From Vintage Textiles by Self-Taught Artist Mister Finch 

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All images by Patricia Heal

Mister Finch (previously here and here) returns this holiday season with brand new specimens, toadstools produced from vintage fabrics that capture the mushroom-capped fungus is elegant detail. Like those who enjoy the hunt of a dedicated mushroom forage, Mister Finch likes the adventure of finding the perfect fabric, utilizing materials from wedding dresses to curtains rich in history to sew his hauntingly accurate works.

In additional to mushrooms—flowers, insects, and birds also capture the creative attention of the UK-based artist due to their lifecycles and the British folklore that surrounded the particular flora and fauna. Although he has no classic training in either sewing or sculpture, Mister Finch’s sculptures beautifully capture the fine detail inherent to his small subject matter, delicately crafting everything from root systems to subtle hints of rot.

For his current exhibition, Mister Finch has included sculptures and photographs taken by the photographer Patricia Heal. These images place the toadstools against black backdrops, bringing attention to the superb craftsmanship of his work and its relationship to a Victorian era aesthetic. These works will occupy Steven Kasher Gallery in New York City through December 23rd, 2015. To see more of Mister Finch’s vintage textile crafted works visit his Instagram and Facebook page here. (via Wallpaper*)

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New Works from Banksy at the The Jungle Refugee Camp in Calais 

banksy-1“The Son of a Migrant from Syria

Based on an update to his website this morning it appears Banksy visited the Jungle Refugee Camp in Calais, France, one of the largest refugee camps in western Europe. The artist left behind four new artworks, most notably a piece featuring Steve Jobs carrying an early Macintosh computer and a sack over his shoulder noting his background as a “son of a migrant from Syria,” (Jobs was adopted, but his biological father was from Syria). In another piece he references Géricault’s famous Raft of Medusa painting, depicting an imperiled group of people on a sinking raft as they hail a modern cruise ship just on the horizon. The artist previously brought attention to the refuge crisis in a piece at Dismaland earlier this year.

In addition to the artworks, part of Banksy’s team installed 12 permanent structures and a makeshift playground inside the squalid Jungle camp using materials left behind from Dismaland, a project he refers to as Dismal Aid.

One of the best ways you can help Syrian refugees is through donations to the UN Refugee Agency.

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New Anonymous Portraits Liberated From Their Museum Frames by Julien de Casabianca 

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We are often inundated with images of famous artworks, pieces even the most disconnected art viewer can name on the spot. These portraits however make up a very small percentage of the work in museums worldwide, the majority of faces either nameless or not burned into memory—men, women, and children immortalized by brushstroke but forgotten by time. These anonymous faces are the ones that French artist Julien de Casabianca (previously) is most drawn to, and has been “liberating” for the last few years by placing recreations of the unknown on urban street corners and abandoned buildings as a part of his Outings Project.

Since its inception the project has gone global—Oslo, Geneva, and Warsaw included in the recent cities that have received their own wheatpasted faces. De Casabianca was invited by the Cummer Museum in Jacksonville, FL to create a few pieces, including one that stands two-stories tall, a young girl in a bonnet peering away from the viewer and into the boarded-up brick wall on which she is placed. Other works of his are less conspicuous, characters hiding behind drooped plants or crouched on the ground at knee-level, glancing at the viewer from urban streets rather than behind museum quality glass.

The project has always been intended to be participatory, de Casabianca inviting anyone to photograph and “free” images from museums in their own city. De Casabianca will show his own work in Belgium next year at the Musée d’Ixelles from March 5th to April 10th. More of de Casabianca’s pieces can be found on his online gallery, Facebook, and Instagram.

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Photographer Spends Years Documenting Immense Storm Waves that Crash Against the Porthcawl Lighthouse 

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All photos © Steve Garrington

For the last six years photographer Steve Garrington has spent countless hours documenting the oceanic events surrounding a single lighthouse in Porthcawl, Wales. Built in 1860, the lighthouse itself is pretty run-of-the-mill, but the events that unfold around it as stormy winds sweep in from the Bristol Channel are anything but ordinary. Because of the point’s unique sloped design, crashing waves are easily launched to extraordinary heights, especially during bad weather. It’s a wonder the structure is even standing after all these years. You can explore more of his photography on Flickr, specifically his waves album.

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Embroidered Psychological Landscapes by Michelle Kingdom 

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LA-based artist Michelle Kingdom embroiders small, illustrative scenes of people in curious mythological or ritualistic scenarios, engaged in unknown actions or in vaguely defined relationships. From her artist statement:

My work explores psychological landscapes, illuminating thoughts left unspoken. I create tiny worlds in thread to capture elusive yet persistent inner voices. Literary snippets, memories, personal mythologies, and art historical references inform the imagery; fused together, these influences explore relationships, domesticity and self-perception.

Kingdom most recently exhibited at bG Gallery in Santa Monica and at a Feminist Fiber Art Exhibition. You can see some available artworks in her online shop. (via Beautiful/Decay)

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Newly Restored Photos of Shackleton’s Fateful Antarctic Voyage Offer Unprecedented Details of Survival 

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This photo was taken when the crew felt they had a good chance of freeing the trapped Endurance from the sea ice of the Weddell Sea, so they put the sails up. As we know, this and other attempts failed, and realizing the ship wasn’t moving Hurley went onto the ice to take this photograph. New details of sea ice have been revealed. Photo by Frank Hurley 1914-1917. Single use permission from the Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers.

In what may be one of history’s most famous successful failures, explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton and 27 other men set out on the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition in 1914 to make what they hoped would be the first land crossing of Antarctica. The crew had hardly reached the continent when their ship was swallowed and crushed by ice. Freezing in unfathomably cold conditions, all 28 men survived for nearly 17 months in makeshift camps in a desperate trek back to civilization. Despite losing their ship, expedition photographer Frank Hurley was able to save his camera equipment, working in incredibly difficult conditions to document their plight. Nearly 100 years to the day of the ship sinking the Royal Geographic Society (RGS) has mounted the Enduring Eye: The Antarctic Legacy of Sir Ernest Shackleton and Frank Hurley, an exhibition of newly digitized images that provide incredible detail to the day-to-day life of the group of adventurers and survivors.

After 80 years of storing the original glass plate and celluloid negatives, RGS along with the Institute of British Geographers (IBG) has digitized over 90 images for the public. Due to enlargement, the photos reveal detail that had not been previously seen, like in the image of six crewmen huddled around the fire below. Previously, only five men were visible in the image, but after digitization it is now possible to make out a sixth man through the thick smoke of the flame.

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Photo by Frank Hurley 1914-1917. Single use permission from the Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers.

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Photo by Frank Hurley 1914-1917. Single use permission from the Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers.

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Photo by Frank Hurley 1914-1917. Single use permission from the Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers.

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Photo by Frank Hurley 1914-1917. Single use permission from the Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers.

Even modern photography would have been difficult in the antarctic conditions, but for Hurley it was nearly impossible. Glass plates were extremely heavy and would force the boat to carry unnecessary weight. In Hurley’s book “Argonauts of the South” written after the journey, he explained that he often had to risk his life to protect the plates. In one story, a time came to choose between tossing the plates or surplus food overboard. Hurley dumped the food.

Complete darkness was also a difficulty during the trip. This forced Hurley to light his subjects with flares, juggling a red hot flame while he manipulated a heavy camera. The effect of the technique was nothing short of cinematic, the image below showcasing the ship Endurance like a brilliant specter just before its fateful sinking.

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Iconic shot of the Endurance lit by flares at night. Photo by Frank Hurley 1914-1917. Single use permission from the Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers.

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Wearing full polar clothing and gathered under the bow of the ship, photographed and filmed by Frank Hurley, probably on 1 September 1915. Glass Plate Negative: 6¼” x 4¾” (16cm x 12cm). Single use permission from the Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers.

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Ernest Shackleton at Ocean Camp. Glass Plate Negative, 8 ½” x 6 ¼” (21.5cm x 16cm). Photo by Frank Hurley. Single use permission from the Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers.

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Photo by Frank Hurley 1914-1917. Single use permission from the Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers.

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Photo by Frank Hurley 1915. Single use permission from the Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers.

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Photo by Frank Hurley 1914-1917. Single use permission from the Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers.

Each photograph of the expedition is both a testament to Shackleton’s ability to lead and will to survive, as well as to Hurley’s contribution to the canon of photography. To learn more about Shackleton’s fateful voyage check out the book Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage. If you want to explore the newly digitized images in person, make sure to catch the Enduring Eye which runs through February 28, 2016 at the Royal Geographic Society in London. The exhibition will then have a voyage of its own and travel to the US, Canada, and Australia. (via Al Jazeera)

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Twisted Tree Branches Fused with Ornate Picture Frames by Darryl Cox 

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Artist Darryl Cox fuses ornate vintage picture frames with tree branches found in the forests of central Oregon. The branches serve as a simple reminder of the materials used to build picture frames, but also create an unusual form factor where clean lines and ornate moulding patterns seem to naturally traverse the bark of each tree limb. Each piece involves many hours of woodworking, sculpting, and painting.

You can explore many more pieces by Cox on his website, on Facebook, and in his online shop. (via Quipsologies)

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