A cluster of three hollow wooden owls peer out from the end of a dock in Bordeaux, France, connected from within to form a two-story cabin. The Watchers was designed and built by Zebra3, a local contemporary art production company. The design was inspired by the small owls that nest on the ground in the surrounding marsh, with shingles to match their feathery heads.
“The idea of birds came to me very quickly,” said Candice Petrillo, Zebra3’s key designer on the project. “After the last extension of the commercial zone, I saw migrants swirling around in the sky, looking for the old dried wetland. The nod of animal eye and the curve of the object are a tribute to the sculptors François Pompon and François-Xavier Lalanne.”
The structure is a part of a series of unique buildings scattered throughout the region, cabins that invite guests to spend the night for free in order to encourage hiking and exploration. The project, Les Refuges Périurbains is a collaboration between Zebra3 and Bruit du Frigo. You can see more of the area’s cabins on Les Refuges Périurbains’ website, including this lakeside home shaped like a cloud. (via Inhabitant)
Okuda San Miguel’s (previously) recently transformed 19th-century castle in Château, France is perhaps my favorite work by the artist to date. The intervention, titled Skull in the Mirror, covers the gigantic home’s facade in a mix of colorful polka dots, and is flanked on either side by two three-story skulls. Three dormer windows at the top of the castle are lined in bright red, blue, and orange, while the second story windows serve as openings for the prismatic skull’s four combined eyes.
After stints as a school and holiday center for children, the castle was abandoned for nearly 30 years.
Five years ago it was acquired by the local Town Hall. Recently it became a site for Urban Art Paris' LaBel Valette Festival, which hosted Okuda the last weekend in June. You can see a short video of the project, created by @chopemdownfilms, below.
Kyoko Bowskill, the founder of Tokyo-based LINK, is working to revive the centuries-old Japanese tradition of carrying objects of all sorts in beautiful reusable squares of fabric: furoshiki. Made from smooth and lightweight cotton fabric and measuring 90cm square (about 35 inches), these furoshiki can be twisted into wine bottle carriers, folded for gift-wrapping, knotted into a quick tote bag, spread out for a picnic, or simply tossed around your shoulders as a scarf.
From the initial design to the finishing touches, each scarf is hand-made. LINK collaborates with designers around the world to create new imagery for their scarves, adding a modern spin to the age-old concept. The small factory where each scarf is made has decades of experience that they use to pull each screen print; carefully air dry the scarves, and hand-roll and sew each seam for a polished finish.
We’ve selected some of our favorite designs for The Colossal Shop: clever origami-inspired trompe l’oeils of dots and paper, a journey tracing the dizzying path of the mountain-weaving Hida Express train, a dreamy scene of cherry blossoms in moonlight, and a contemporary take on the classic look of ruffles.
Artist Ronit Baranga (previously) creates ceramic sculptural works she describes as existing on the “border between living and still life”—objects guaranteed to either tickle your funny bone or haunt your worst nightmares, depending on your perspective. Baranga depicts dishware as sprouting human fingers and gaping mouths as the objects traipse across tabletops or physically cling to one another in a permanent embrace. The pieces are both silly and sinister as they come to life as if from a cartoon. A quick scroll through her Instagram reveals even darker works that give us the bonafide heebie-jeebies.
Ronit most recently had work on view at the Gross Anatomies show at the Akron Art Museum, and is also a contruting artist to the Small Works 2017 with beinArt Gallery through August. (via My Amp Goes to 11)
Artist duo Ann Wood and Dean Lucker (aka Woodlucker) forged a partnership in 1987 shortly after graduating from Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Together they pursue a variety of both collaborative and personal projects from Lucker’s kinetic sculptures to Wood’s illustrated papercraft. Wood refers to her process as “drawing with scissors,” and merges aspects of both paper cutting and traditional illustration with ink. After forming the moths, butterflies, feathers, and flowers, the pieces are then carefully arranged within collection boxes designed by Dean. You can follow more of their work on Instagram and on their portfolio site. (thnx, Diana!)
Sydney-based artist Niharika Hukku translates the fine detail work she learned as an illustrator to her painted ceramics, creating natural scenes that range from fluffy white clouds to schools of swimming fish. Each vessel is thrown and fired by Hukku herself, and finished with a variety of ceramic glazes. When she’s not creating and decorating porcelain, she is an avid water color painter, often working in large-scale. You can see a more diverse range of her inspiration, including kookaburras and koi fish, on her Instagram and website. (via So Super Awesome)