LA-based artist Michelle Kingdom continues to impress with her masterful command of thread and needle. Her stitched tableaus and landscapes depict individuals caught in the middle of intriguing yet ambiguous situations like something out of a dream, with characters lost in worlds out of their control or in the process of searching for meaning. She shares about her process:
Decidedly miniature in scale, the scenes are densely embroidered into compressed compositions. While the work acknowledges the luster and lineage inherent in needlework, I use thread as a sketching tool in order to simultaneously honor and undermine this tradition. Beauty parallels melancholy, as conventional stitches acquiesce to the fragile and expressive.
Bits and Pieces, 2016. Nils Völker. Plastic balls, wood, motors, custom electronics and programming, size variable. Photo by Bresadola+Freese/drama-berlin.de
For his latest kinetic installation titled Bits and Pieces, artist Nils Volker (previously) repurposed 108 toy Hoberman spheres which he suspended from microcontrollers inside a space at NOME Gallery in Berlin. Once attached to motors, the spheres are then synchronized to various rhythms and patterns to create moving sequences that mimic living organisms. The piece was on view through last week, but you can see more photos on Volker’s website.
Although it’s only been a few months since we mentioned Harvard’s splendid pigment collection housed inside the Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies, the team over at Great Big Story just took their cameras inside for a closer look. Straus director Narayan Khandekar takes us through the collection to see some of the rarest pigments including a particularly vivid shade of yellow produced from the urine of cows that are fed only mango leaves. Delightful!
Carrot by Rachel Dein, all images via the artist’s Etsy.
Rachel Dein (previously) chooses to immortalize plants that might otherwise wither away shortly after their appearance in the spring. Dein places theses flowers, vegetables, and foliage in arrangements within clay, making an impression of the plants before applying a layer of plaster. Once hardened, the initial clay is peeled way to reveal a relief formed by the delicate leaves and buds. A silicon rubber mold is then used to cast each tile in plaster using the shades of light white, green, or blue.
Dein sells her botanical work on her Etsy shop, a selection of which will be included in the Chelsea Flower Show this May, and in her first solo exhibition at Hampton Court this July. You can see more of her plant-based tiles on her Instagram.
Honesty, Lavender, Californian Poppy, Clematis seed head, Salvia and Achillia in Blue Wedgwood
Product designer Oscar Lhermitte has collaborated with design studio Kudu to produce a topographically accurate lunar globe that turns along with the phases of the moon. MOON exists at a 1:20 million scale and was created with data from NASA to reveal all of the moon’s craters in precise detail. As the round light or “sun,” rotates around the globe, dramatic shadows are cast across its surface.
With three settings, you can manually twist the moon to the position you desire, place it on demo mode to let you see all phases in 30 seconds, or switch it to live mode to have the piece synchronize with the current position of the moon itself. In addition to a physical similarity to the moon, the globe also has an intrinsic connection to it. MOON’s computer system has the exact same memory as the Apollo 11 computers that landed the first men on the earth-orbiting giant.
As part of his Celestial Series, Chicago-based digital artist David Brodeur rendered an alien world filled with berry-like plants, glowing crystals, and candy shaped orbs that sprout from the ground. Despite their exotic designs, Brodeur relies on common colors of familiar fruits to create this Willy Wonka-esque habitat where you can’t help but want to reach out and gobble everything up. You can see more from the series on Behance, and he also posts a new digital piece each day on Instagram.