Archaeologists in Turkey recently unearthed an exceptionally preserved mosaic inside the remains of a building from the 3rd century. One section of the three-panel artwork includes a reclining skeleton with an arm over its head, holding a glass of wine and resting an elbow on a loaf of bread. On both sides of its head reads the phrase “Be cheerful and live your life,” written in Greek. The purpose of the building surrounding the mosaic, and even when it was made is currently being debated. Some experts believe the triptych was simply the floor of a wealthy person who could afford to have it built, while others think it might be a message in a soup kitchen urging people to get their food quickly and leave. The History Blog has a great analysis and quite a bit more background if you’re interested. (via The History Blog)
Brighton-based artist Charlotte Bailey was fascinated by the traditional Japanese mending technique called kintsugi, where a broken ceramic object is repaired with gold, silver or platinum, to accentuate the damage and ‘honor’ its history. In this interpretation, Bailey utilizes an embroidery method to reassemble a broken vase—a sort of hybrid between kintsugi and darning with a beautiful result. She first wraps each broken piece in fabric and then uses gold metallic thread to painstakingly patchwork the pieces together. While the process isn’t meant to make the vase functional again, it does produce a striking sculptural object. We’d love to see many more of these. You can follow more of her embroidery work on Facebook.
Update: Artist Zoe Hillyard has been using a similar technique to create ceramic patchwork since 2010.
All images via Dan Lam
Covered in tiny, multicolored spikes of acrylic paint, Dan Lam's oozing sculptures seem nearly radioactive, glowing as if lit by some unnatural source. The pieces are intended to sit at the edge of a ledge or against a wall, appearing to be pulled by gravity towards the earth. To create these alien-like beings Lam uses polyurethane foam and epoxy resin as a base. Letting the foam grow on its own, she guides the form only slightly, letting drips happen organically.
Lam produced the series as a part of a continued study of beauty and disgust—dually attracting and repelling those that come in contact with her sculptures. “I take cues from nature, food, and the human body,” Lam told The Creator’s Project. “By not directly referencing one thing in particular, I try to create something that addresses both attraction and repulsion, making objects that exist in-between.”
You can see more of Lam’s neon spiked sculptures and drippy forms on her Instagram. (via Booooooom)
Formed from wood, resin, and beeswax, Canadian jeweler Secret Wood forms tiny worlds within the space of a finger. These environments contain everything from snowcapped mountains to deep blue lagoons, appearing like tiny snow globes atop one’s hand. Like a gemstone, each ring has an angular surface, refracting the scenes carefully placed within. Every piece is completely handmade, ensuring that no two rings are exactly alike. You can see more of the jeweler’s rings on their online store and Facebook. (via My Modern Met)
Located off the coast of Morocco, the Canaries are a cluster of volcanic islands that are among Spain’s farthest-flung territories, rich in biodiversity and no shortage of scenic views. Last September, 25-year-old media student Lukas Furlan spent several weeks exploring two of the islands, Tenerife and the much smaller La Gomera, returning with a stunning collection of photos. At a young age Furlan has already amassed an impressive body of landscape photography, most notably several series of images taken at different locations along the Alps. You can see more of his photography on Facebook and Instagram. (via Behance)
Commercial photographer Levon Biss typically shoots portraits of world-class athletes—sports players caught in motion. His new series however, catches subjects that have already been paused, insect specimens found at the Oxford Museum of Natural History. The series originally started as a side-project capturing the detail of bugs that his son would catch at home, and is now displayed at the museum in an exhibition titled Microsculpture.
During the course of his selection from the museum’s collection Biss rejected more than 99% of the bugs he came across, only choosing those that were of the right size and color. To capture these subjects in such immense detail, each part of the insect required a completely different lighting setup.
“I will photograph an antenna and light that antenna so it looks as best as it possibly can,” said Biss. “Once I move onto the next section, for example the eye, the lighting will change completely. I work my way across the whole body of the insect until I end up with 30 different sections, each photographed individually.”
Working in this comprehensive manner required between 8,000 and 10,000 shots for each final image, moving the camera just ten microns (1/7th of the width of a human hair) between each shot. With this volume of imagery, it takes over two weeks for Biss to complete each photograph start to finish.
You can see Microsculpture through October 30th at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History where the images are displayed next to their actual specimens. In case you can’t make it to the UK, you can take a detailed look at all 22 of Biss’s images on his interactive Microsculpture website. (via PetaPixel)