Craft

Shimmering Metallic Embroideries of Dragonflies and Other Insects by Humayrah Bint Altaf

March 13, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Bedford, England-based embroidery artist Humayrah Bint Altaf (previously) continues to construct ornate insects using shimmering threads and metallic beads. Her dragonflies, bees, beetles, and butterflies take shape using carefully paired patterns and colors that form wings, bodies, and even delicate feet. While Altaf takes artistic license with the exact shapes and colors in her embroideries, her use of bright, reflective materials adds a sense of life to these insect interpretations. The artist shares with Colossal:

I strive to create pieces that speak figuratively and literally of the colors and textures of trees, plants, beetles, bees, roots, twigs and other creatures that frequent my world. Light is an integral element of my handwork hence the materials I use reflect this. Soft gold leathers, vintage silks, antique gold cords, iridescent metal wires all call out to me and are woven into my pieces.

Altaf was recently recognized by The Worshipful Company of Girdlers for her contributions to Embroidery. She shares her work on Instagram and also sells her embroideries on Etsy.

 

 



Amazing Design

A Project Aims to Create the World’s Largest Hanging Garden Since Babylon Within the Branches of a 114-Foot Tree

March 12, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

The French masterminds of mechanical delight, Les Machines de L’ile, have an ambitious new project underway. L’Arbre aux Hérons (The Heron’s Tree) is set to be the largest hanging garden built since ancient Babylon, spanning over 160 feet in diameter and reaching 114 feet into the sky. Their Nantes-based team describes the historic muses behind the project:

Inspired by the worlds of Jules Verne and Leonardo Da Vinci, it is an unprecedented artistic project. After the Grand Elephant and the Machine Gallery in 2007, the Carousel of the Sea Worlds in 2012, the Herons’ Tree is the third phase of the Island’s Machines. Coming out of the minds of François Delaroziere and Pierre Orefice, it will be located along the banks of the Loire River, a few meters away from the house Jules Verne spent his teenage years in and where Jean-Jacques Audubon grew up and drew his first herons.

Les Machines de L’ile have been working on The Heron’s Tree since their inception in 2007, and in the spirit of democratic discovery, their team of skilled craftspeople have been sharing the prototypes with visitors to the Machine Gallery. The sketches and mock-ups for the project include a giant steel tree topped with two herons that each carry twenty passengers on circular flights. Half of the tree’s twenty-two branches can be traversed on foot by visitors, and all of the branches will support hanging terraces of plants and gardens to create a lush ecosystem. The tree itself will be set in an old granite quarry on the cliffs of Brittany.

The goal is to open The Heron’s Tree in 2022, and two thirds of the 35 million euro project cost is being covered by public funding. Les Machines de L’ile is seeking to fund the rest through crowdfunding: you can contribute via Kickstarter. You can also track the project’s progress on Facebook.

A small-scale prototype

A prototype branch

Prototype herons

Sketches for The Heron’s Tree

Sketches for The Heron’s Tree

Sketches for The Heron’s Tree

Digital rendering of walkways

 

 

 



Illustration

Clever Sketches by Christoph Niemann Turn Everyday Scenes into Humorous Moments

March 9, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Illustrator Christoph Niemann (previously) plays with scale and context to create small scenes using ink and everyday materials. In his object-focused works, a few deft brushstrokes turn a pair of socks into the head and torso of a dinosaur, and a pressed paintbrush flares into a dancer’s swinging skirt. Other sketches are based on photographs, usually of the streets of New York City where the artist lives. For the past few years, he has shared these illustrations each Sunday via Instagram. Niemann also sells prints of his series of Sunday Sketches, along with original drawings, in his online store. He has also published a book, Sunday Sketching.

 

 



Art Illustration

Wondrously Detailed Paintings by Alice Lin Show the Complex Relationship Between Self and Surroundings

March 8, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

In the Ocean #2, 35 x 28 inches

Illustrator Alice Lin uses watercolor and pigment on rice paper and silk to create intricately detailed worlds. Human and animal figures are enveloped in pastel-toned bursts of swirling flowers, mushrooms, oceans, and rock formations. Despite their storybook-like quality, many of Lin’s works are fairly large, with some spanning more than three feet wide.

In an interview with Wow x Wow, Lin describes the intention behind her work: “It’s about exploring the internal and external, about the relationships between the two; self and surroundings; human beings and the world… Our body is a container, connected to the outside world and our breath, blood, thoughts, feelings, emotions, dreams, etc. are the content; through this content we are able to experience life, and we are able to learn about art, the world or ourselves.”

The Beijing-based artist shares her work on Behance, and you can also follow her on Instagram.

Mystery / 秘境, 31 x 47 inches

What we talk about when we were talking / 我们在谈论什么, diptych, 43 x 36 inches

Faramita / 彼岸, 83 x 41 inches

Faramita, in process

Toadstool Spirit / 毒蘑菇精, 17.5 inches

 

 



Art Illustration

New Mesmerizing Oil and Graphite Portraits That Peer Into the Subject’s Inner Mind by Miles Johnston

March 8, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

The Return

London-based illustrator Miles Johnston (previously) produces graphite drawings and oil paintings that examine the inner thoughts of his female subjects. His piece Withdraw literally presents a woman’s face retracting into her own head, her wide-eyed stare sinking deep into her skull. Another, Dualism, shows a woman crouched on top of a chasm in the earth, a similar fault line continuing through her body.

Johnston will exhibit these works and more at an upcoming solo at Last Rites Gallery, a gallery known for showcasing surreal and macabre works in New York City. His show will run from March 31 to April 21, 2018. You can see more of his drawings, paintings, and prints on his Instagram.

Process shot of Miles Johnston’s The Return

Withdraw

Dichotomy

Dualism

 

 



Illustration

Vintage Postage Stamps Inspire Fanciful Storybook Scenes Painted by Illustrator Diana Sudyka

March 7, 2018

Christopher Jobson

Chicago-based Illustrator Diana Sudyka uses vintage stamps from Europe as the starting point for fanciful paintings created using gouache, ink, and watercolor. These miniature engravings of portraits, architecture, and ships  become fully formed figures and landscapes that merge with trees and flowers and convene with animals. Many of the artist’s paintings include phrases of hand-painted text that add an additional narrative element to the works.

Sudyka tells Colossal that she begins each new piece by selecting a stamp, but without a specific idea of the painting that will emerge from it. “I let the stamp inform the subject matter and color palette. It’s a very intuitive process. The stamp is really just a stepping off point to get my imagination going.”

Working mainly as a children’s book illustrator, Sudyka creates her stamp paintings primarily as relaxing interludes between client projects. She explains to Colossal that her background is as a fine artist, specializing in intaglio printmaking, and her history with stamps goes back to her days as an undergraduate when she was inspired by collage artist Joseph Cornell, and picked up some vintage stamps at a coin collecting shop in her college town. Sudyka offers prints of many of her paintings on her website, and she also shares her work on Instagram.

 

 



Amazing Dance Music

Spike Jonze Directs Mind-Melting New Dance Video for Apple

March 7, 2018

Christopher Jobson

There is perhaps no other director who can blur the lines between art and advertising like director Spike Jonze. From his 2016 hit dance video for KENZO perfumes all the back to his early ads for Levi’s, the Oscar-winning director has an extraordinary ability to present contemporary dance against stunning visual backdrops. Enter his latest short for Apple HomePods: Welcome Home featuring English musician and dancer FKA twigs rocking out in her apartment to a new Anderson .Paak track called ‘Til It’s Over.

It appears the 4-minute short was filmed largely using practical special effects to create colorful sets that stretch out like a skewed digital glitch. Mum’s the word on exactly how Jonze filmed the piece, but we’re sure to hear more in the coming days about how exactly it all came together. (via Adweek)