Earlier this week London-based duo Tim Noble and Sue Webster opened their first solo show since 2006 at Blain|Southern in London. Titled Nihilistic Optimistic, the exhibition includes six large-scale sculptures built from what appear to be haphazard clumps of discarded wood but when illuminated by a light projector create uncannily accurate self-portraits of the artists. Via their artist statment:
Tim Noble and Sue Webster take ordinary things including rubbish, to make assemblages and then point light to create projected shadows which show a great likeness to something identifiable including self-portraits. The art of projection is emblematic of transformative art. The process of transformation, from discarded waste, scrap metal or even taxidermy creatures to a recognizable image, echoes the idea of ‘perceptual psychology’ a form of evaluation used for psychological patients. Noble and Webster are familiar with this process and how people evaluate abstract forms. Throughout their careers they have played with the idea of how humans perceive abstract images and define them with meaning. The result is surprising and powerful as it redefines how abstract forms can transform into figurative ones.
If you’re in London the next few weeks I think this is a must-see, if not here are some more installation views. The show runs through November 24.
Sydney-based artist Catherine Nelson refers to herself as a painter with a camera, in that she doesn’t see the world as a photographer does but instead uses photos as a medium with which she creates these fantastic miniature worlds. Each work is comprised of hundreds of photographs which she digitally stitches together, drawing from an extensive background in visual special effects having worked on such films as Moulin Rouge, Harry Potter and 300. Of her work Nelson says:
When I embraced the medium of photography, I felt that taking a picture that represented only what was within the frame of the lens wasn’t expressing my personal and inner experience of the world around me. With the eye and training of a painter and with years of experience behind me in film visual effects, I began to take my photos to another level. The ‘Future Memories’ series comprises of 20 floating worlds, meticulously composed with thousands of assembled details. Visual poetry, nature photography and digital techniques blend together to give shape to these transcendental landscapes. The result is a contemporary pictorial mythology that subtly reminds the viewer of a profound truth: that it is in the flourishing variety of the local that the fate of the world resides.
Although the pieces are quite gorgeous to look at right here on Colossal, it’s hard to convey the resolution and scale of each piece which measures about 40×40″ (100x100cm), a level of detail that requires Nelson to spend nearly a month on each piece. It was my assumption based on the perspective and detail that some of these works must be somehow partially rendered in 3D, however she assured me via email that this is not the case. Though she uses digital editing to assemble them, they are almost purely based in photography. Incredible.
Another Place is a collection of 100 cast iron figurative sculptures by artist Antony Gormley that was installed at Crosby Beach, England in the mid-2000s. The giant figures each weigh upward of 1,400 lbs (650 kg) and are spread across an area of beach nearly two miles long. Photographer Paul Sutton has spent the last few months capturing these wonderful images of the works, many more of which you can see over on his 500px page.
A few days ago I stopped by Carrie Secrist Gallery here in Chicago to discover a new thread installation from Kansas City-based artist Anne Lindberg (previously) called Zip Drawing. The piece was created by stapling taunt strands of Egyptian cotton thread in a meticulous yet seemingly haphazard fashion between opposing gallery walls resulting in an ethereal field of suspended color. Although these photos by Derek Porter do a great job of conveying the hue and scale of the piece (35 feet at its widest) it’s hard to feel the magnitude and energy of the piece without standing right in front of it. Stop by if you can, the exhibition runs through October 20 and also includes a number of her colored pencil drawings.
I’ll let this fun video from filmmaker Eran Amir speak for itself, suffice to say the entire thing was shot as you see here without any color correction, and here’s a making of to show how he did it. Amir previously shot a music video using 1,500 photographs held by 500 people around Israel.
Before an email arrived in my inbox this week I was completely unaware that a polyhedral panoramic perspective drawing was a thing, but apparently is, though a quick google search comes up with nothing. But I’ll take artist Rorik Smith at his word and just enjoy the incredible effects achieved in his disorienting illustrations that are drawn with graphite pencils on-site without aid from photographic reference material or digital manipulation. Smith seems to introduce polarized coordinates at random locations in each drawing and then bends the perspective of the surrounding areas to match. If that makes any sense. Love these. See much more in his portfoio.
Mixed media and installation artist Peter McFarlane has spent his life turning found objects, computer waste and other discarded materials into sculptures, installations, and even the backdrops of paintings. Of his work McFarlane says:
To me, waste is just lack of imagination. This belief carries beyond the boundaries of my art production and permeates most aspects of my life. Most of my home and studio, and much of everything in them, is recycled. I’ve always had an epic imagination along with a driving desire to make things. Thus, used objects have pared my options down to a workable, manageable level. No object is beyond artistic merit, meaning and metaphor. So why throw it out? The materials of my work are connected intrinsically to my ideas, be they tailored beyond recognition or left as found. Each piece I make resurrects an object as an idea specific to the material and the meaning inherent in its use. The history of the object — from the manufacture to the dumpster — embellishes its contexts and the possibilities I have to manipulate them. I have often made a connection with the objects that I’ve used in my everyday life or work experience: that which I know.
You can see much more of his work over at Saatchi Online as well as in his portfolio and he recently had a show of chainsaw sculptures (!) at Pegasus Gallery in Salt Spring Island, British Columbia just last month.