A Black and Blue Life: A Coal Miner Becomes a Photographer of Exquisite Waves and Seascapes

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Australian photographer Ray Collins first picked up a camera in 2007 and used it to photograph his friends surfing around his home after long shifts working in a nearby coal mine. His attention quickly shifted from his friends to patterns and forms he noticed in the waves. Collins, who is colorblind, was also drawn to the interplay of light and water, perhaps more attune to contrast than the nuance of color. He poetically refers to this switch from coal miner to fine art photographer as a balance between his “black life and blue life.”

The accolades, awards, and sponsorships have been heaped on Collins leading to the publication of his first book, Found at Sea, he also has a wide variety of prints on his website, and you can follow his photography day-to-day on Instagram. (via Laughing Squid)

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The Ballad of Holland Island House: An Animated Short Created by Painting with Clay on Glass

Built in the late 1880s, Holland Island House was the last surviving structure on an rapidly eroding island in the Chesapeake Bay. The island’s inhabitants were forced from the island in the 1920s, but this one Victorian structure stood for decades as the land around it disappeared. After numerous attempts to save it, the house finally collapsed into the ocean in October of 2010.

In her stop-motion short The Ballad of Holland Island House, animator Lynn Tomlinson shares the story of the house through an innovative clay-on-glass animation technique. Every single frame was painted by hand with clay and photographed, a medium that lends itself perfectly to depicting ocean currents, memory, and the passage of time. Music by Anna & Elizabeth.

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Delicate Pressed Fern Leaf Illustrations by Helen Ahpornsiri

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Artist and illustrator Helen Ahpornsiri creates incredible pressed fern illustrations from her studio in East Sussex. Tiny bits of stems and leaves are arranged on paper to create butterflies, dragonflies, and birds scarcely larger than a coin. Many of her pieces are available as prints on Etsy (along with a few originals), and you can also follow her on Instagram. (via The Kid Should See This)

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Drawings in Space: Wooden Wireframe Sculptures of Everyday Objects by Janusz Grünspek

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With little more than thin wooden dowels and a bit of glue, artist Janusz Grünspek creates scale replicas of everyday objects that from a distance appear like line drawings. Dining room tables, power tools, an Apple laptop, and even a candle chandelier are formed from delicately cut and bent wooden pieces that mimic the form of digitally-rendered wireframes. Grünspek calls the 2011 series Drawings in Space, and you can see a bit more on his website (warning: Flash). (via Junk Culture, Visual News)

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Old Books Transformed into Imaginative 3D Illustrations of Fairy Tale Scenes

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Seattle-based artist Isobelle Ouzman creates 3D illustrations from discarded books found in dumpsters, recycling bins, and local thrift stores. She adopts these forgotten books as a way to give them a second life, cutting and pasting the books into layered fairy tale scenes instead of letting the novels collect dust or fall prey to the elements.

Ouzman creates her whimsical and monochromatic environments with an X-Acto knife, glue, watercolors and Micron pens. Each work focuses on plants and animals, several layers of winding forestry surrounding her central characters.

Each book can take between two and three months to complete, which is why Ouzman is currently on hold with commissions until October. To submit a commission for her found book illustrations contact her here, or browse the books on her Etsy site. (via Lustik)

The Reinvention of Normal: A Fun Profile of Whimsical Inventor and Artist Dominic Wilcox

In this brief profile by filmmaker Liam Saint Pierre, we dive head-first into the strange mind of British artist and inventor Dominic Wilcox who’s been entertaining the world for years with his delightfully impractical ideas. His recent off-the-wall inventions include a stained glass driverless car, shoes with built-in GPS that guide you back home, and a giant listening device called Binaudios that mimic tourist binoculars for the purpose of listening to a city. “Let’s do the ridiculous and by doing the ridiculous something else might come of it,” Wilcox shares in the film, perfectly encapsulating his entire artistic practice. He also just published a book filled with comic-like sketches of his most outlandish ideas, Variations on Normal, which is available on his website. (via It’s Nice That)

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An Immersive Digitally-Controlled Installation of 2,300 Suspended Flowers by Japanese Art Collective teamLab

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Currently on display in Tokyo is “Floating Flower Garden,” an immersive, interactive installation of blossoming vegetation. Visitors enter a room filled with floating flowers. But as you approach them the flowers rise into the air, creating an air bubble within the dense forest. Multiple visitors can move through the installation at once as the flowers move away from them and surround them. “In this interactive floating flower garden viewers are immersed in flowers, and become completely one with the garden itself.” Think of it as Rain Room but with flowers.

Floating Flower Garden is the latest installation by TeamLab, a Japanese art collective of “ultra-technologists” lead by Toshiyuki Inoko. They’re currently staging a large-scale retrospective of work at Miraikan in Tokyo. The show has been so popular that it got extended for 2 months and this piece was installed as an encore. It’s currently on view, along with the rest of the show, through May 1, 2015.

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