Stirring the Swarm: A Horde of 10,000 Ceramic Beetles Crawl Across Gallery Walls 

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Like the Pied Piper of Hamelin, UK artist Anna Collette Hunt leads swarms of 10,000 ceramic insects in a traveling exhibition that first appeared several years ago in the towers of Wollaton Hall, England, home to a significant natural history collection. Hunt compares her marching throngs of beetles and butterflies to an awakening of sorts, the idea that her installations depict a reanimation of these long-dormant creatures framed behind glass or lost in drawers. From a statement about her process:

The exhibition is a result of Anna’s preoccupation with historic houses. After recurring visits to Wollaton Hall, she was repeatedly drawn to Entomology, particularly to the fragility of the aging beetles within the collection and by the possible stories that could be crafted from them. The body of work was made in several stages: Anna created the original models and their moulds, then a team of assistants made and glazed the individual elements. Some insects have a trickle of gold lustre, which references the traditional technique of presenting insects in museum collections by pinning each one to a board. This particular aspect has also fallen into the story, where the enchanted beetles bleed gold from their wounds.

The collection of ceramic insects has been installed in numerous places over the last five years, and Hunt also offers a “full scale infestation service” where tailor made swarms can be installed into almost any location. You can see more views of Stirring the Swarm on her website. (via Colossal Submissions)

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New ‘Green Giant’ Mural by Blu on the Streets of Naples 

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Street artist Blu was recently spotted in Naples, Italy putting the finishing touches on this giant green prisoner tearing free from his uniform. The unannounced artwork is supposedly an allusion to the building it’s painted on, a former prison site that is being converted into an open community space. As usual, Blu painted the piece entirely by hand, using ropes to dangle from the side of the building without scaffolding or cherry pickers. See more views on StreetArtNews.

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New Snowcapped Mountains and Swirling Vortexes Excavated from Vintage Books by Guy Laramée 

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“V” (2015) Carved book, inks, pigments, wax. 11,5 x 9 x 5 inches. Photo Alain Lefort.

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“V” (2015) Carved book, inks, pigments, wax. 11,5 x 9 x 5 inches. Photo Alain Lefort.

Continuing to amaze us with his elaborate dictionary and encyclopedia carvings, Guy Laramée‘s (previously here and here) newest works feature deep caverns and valleys that retreat hundreds of pages down into his excavated books. One in particular, “V,” appears like a snowcapped vortex circling down into an endless pit. Viewing this piece, or any of his mountainous works, it’s hard to imagine that their material is stacked and sandblasted paper, the sheets presented more like layers of earth than printed definitions.

Laramée chooses to carve into sources of reference as a conceptual nod to the erosion of cultures, a theme that has pervaded the last 25 years of his practice. “Cultures emerge, become obsolete, and are replaced by new ones,” Laramée’s artist statement explains. “With the vanishing of cultures, some people are displaced and destroyed. We are currently told that the paper book is bound to die. The library, as a place, is finished. One might ask, so what?”

His works attempt to showcase how increasing knowledge might actually be an erosion rather than accumulation by altering these previous beacons of information. They are now integrated into our digital systems, and their husks transformed into mountains and valleys.

You can see more of Laramée’s carved and painted books at JHB Gallery in New York City and Foster/White Gallery in Seattle.

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“V” (2015) Carved book, inks, pigments, wax. 11,5 x 9 x 5 inches. Photo Alain Lefort.

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“V” (2015) Carved book, inks, pigments, wax. 11,5 x 9 x 5 inches. Photo Alain Lefort.

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“Irazu” (2015) Carved book, inks, pigments, wax. 11,5 x 9 x 5 (h) inches. Photo Alain Lefort.

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“Irazu” (2015) Carved book, inks, pigments, wax. 11,5 x 9 x 5 (h) inches. Photo Alain Lefort.

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“Le Début” (2016) Carved book, inks, pigments, wax. 12 x 9 x 5 (h) inches. Photo Alain Lefort.

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“Le Début” (2016) Carved book, inks, pigments, wax. 12 x 9 x 5 (h) inches. Photo Alain Lefort.

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“DESERT OF UNKNOWING” (2016) Carved books, inks, pigments. 39 x 11,5 x 5 inches. Photo Alain Lefort

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“DESERT OF UNKNOWING” (2016) Carved books, inks, pigments. 39 x 11,5 x 5 inches. Photo Alain Lefort

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“DESERT OF UNKNOWING” (2016) Carved books, inks, pigments. 39 x 11,5 x 5 inches. Photo Alain Lefort

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Embroidered Mushrooms, Animals, and Other Forest Creatures by Emillie Ferris 

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Inspired by spring flora and fungus, 21-year-old Emillie Ferris embroiders one-of-a-kind hoops that feature detailed rabbits, foxes, and mushrooms. The works are handstitched and kept on their original frame, drawing the viewer’s attention to the amount of handiwork that went into each animal’s coat or spotted mushroom cap. You can see more of the UK-based artist’s work, including her recent series of custom pet portraits, on her Instagram and Tumblr. (via So Super Awesome)

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Sponsor // Learn Travel Sketching in Mixed Media With 50% Off This Online Craftsy Class 

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Capture the energy and excitement of travel in spontaneous sketches! Whether you have just a few minutes to jot lines, or a half hour to make a small watercolor, start depicting your surroundings in stunning sketches. Learn how with professional artist Marc Taro Holmes in his online Craftsy class, Travel Sketching in Mixed Media. You’ll get 50% off Marc’s video lessons — a special, one-week offer for Colossal readers — and learn fun, fast and flexible techniques for sketching on location.

With these lessons, which you can watch anytime and as many times as you like, Marc will guide you through everything from elegant observational sketches in line, to bold silhouette drawings with a brush pen, watercolor sketching, layering techniques, and more. Along the way, you’ll also pick up skills for visual storytelling and perspective drawing.

Visit Craftsy now to get 50% off the online class, Travel Sketching in Mixed Media, and enjoy your video lessons risk-free with Craftsy’s full money-back guarantee. Offer expires March 14, 2016 at 11:59pm MT.

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