Artist Ellen Jewett refers to her sculptural work as “natural history surrealist sculpture,” a blend of plants, animals, and occasionally human-made structures or objects. Her artwork is deeply informed by an extensive background in anthropology, medical illustration, exotic animal care, and even stop-motion animation, all of which accentuate the biological structure of each piece, while freeing her imagination to pursue more abstract ideas.
Over time, Jewett has become more focused on minimizing materials and relying a negative space. “I find my sculptures are evolving to be of greater emotional presence by using less physical substance,” she shares. In addition, she eschews any potentially toxic mediums like paints, glazes, and finishes, opting to use more natural, locally-sourced materials. “This, unavoidably, excludes most of what is commonly commercially available, and has sent me on a journey of unique material combination and invention.” By employing these more uncommon materials, and leaving traces of fingerprints and other slight imperfections Jewett hopes her work leaves a more authentic impression.
You explore more of Ellen’s work on her website, and many of her pieces (some of which you see here) are available for purchase online.
Although he’s only been painting murals for less than three years, Belgian street artist Dzia has already established a distinctive style and an impressive body of work. The artist most frequently paints depictions of animals and insects in colorful patterns of lines that resemble something like a mosaic. Dzia recently collaborated with artist Gijs Vanee on a series of window pieces at Harmonie Park, and you can follow more his latest work on Instagram. (via My Modern Met)
Collaboration with Gijs Vanhee
Collaboration with Gijs Vanhee
Animal Bowls, 2004, Hella Jongerius for Nymphenburg © Nymphenburg
These animal-filled porcelain bowls were meticulously crafted by hand and designed by Hella Jongerius for a commission by Nymphenburg, a Bavarian porcelain manufacture since the mid-18th century. The series was produced as a celebration of the animal collection found in their archives, and incorporates 3D creatures within the simple glazed bowls.
The ceramics display animals that look as if they have been temporarily and calmly placed upon the delicate bowls—curious foxes, birds, and miniature hippos happily plopped into their fragile environments. The displays are also hand painted with floral decorative patterns originally found on Nymphenburg’s cups and saucers, adding subtle detail to the glossed ceramic works. (via Jongeriuslab)
I’m really enjoying this line of tissue holders from Sparkly Pony based out of Auburn, California. Dinosaur plates and whale spouts become dispensers for plumes of tissues. (via Quipsologies)
Origami artist and chemistry teacher Adam Tram folds some incredibly beautiful objects with paper. From dinosaurs and skeletons to flowers and warriors, it seems nothing is off limits to his folding abilities. Tram is a member of the Vietnam Origami Group, and you can see many more of his pieces on Flickr.
Working only with layers of painted galvanized wire atop steel armature, UK artist Kendra Haste creates faithful reproductions of creatures large and small for both public installations and private collections around the world. A graduate of the from the Royal College of Art, Haste says she is fascinated by how such a seemingly ordinary medium, chicken wire, is capable of suggesting “the sense of movement and life, of contour and volume, the contrasts of weight and lightness, of solidity and transparency—values that I find in my natural subjects.” She continues about her work with animals:
What interests me most about studying animals is identifying the spirit and character of the individual creatures. I try to create a sense of the living, breathing subject in a static 3D form, attempting to convey the emotional essence without indulging in the sentimental or anthropomorphic.
In 2010, Historic Royal Palaces commissioned Haste to fabricate thirteen sculptures around the Tower of London that will remain on view through 2021. You can see much more in this online gallery, and as part of the Art and the Animal exhibition currently at the Ella Carothers Dunnegan Gallery of Art in Missouri. (thnx, Kat Powers!)