I’m really enjoying these oil paintings by Portland-based artist Meghan Howland, who often depicts people caught in swarms of birds, flowers or bunches of fabric. It’s never quite clear if the figure is in a safe or dangerous situation, an ambiguity that leaves each piece open for interpretation. Howland is represented by Bowerstock Gallery where you can see much more of her work. (via I Need a Guide)
It’s been almost two years since we first checked out the work of Pennsylvania artist and designer Paula Swisher and her series of birds drawn in books. Lately the artist has been drawing on her mail, often adapting the color (and subject!) to the context of the mail piece. See lots more here.
Schema, detail / Photo by JP Bland courtesy Kate MccGwire
Sepal Speculum II / Photo by Ian Stuart courtesy Kate MccGwire
Flail / Photo by JP Bland courtesy Kate MccGwire
Flail, detail / Photo by JP Bland courtesy Kate MccGwire
Shroud / Photo by JP Bland courtesy Kate MccGwire
Shroud, detail / Photo by JP Bland courtesy Kate MccGwire
Coalesce / Photo by JP Bland courtesy Kate MccGwire
Coalesce, detail / Photo by JP Bland courtesy Kate MccGwire
Orchis / Photo by Tesa Angus courtesy Kate MccGwire
Cusp / Photo by JP Bland courtesy Kate MccGwire
Cusp, detail / Photo by JP Bland courtesy Kate MccGwire
Smother / Photo by JP Bland courtesy Kate MccGwire
Smother, detail / Photo by JP Bland courtesy Kate MccGwire
British sculptor Kate MccGwire (previously) creates uncanny organic sculptures from layers of bird feathers. The objects she creates are so precisely assembled that they seem to form hybrid creatures with tentacles or limbs that twist and curve into unexpected forms.
MccGwire grew up on the Norfolk Broads, a network of rivers and lakes in eastern England where her connection with nature and fascination with birds was nurtured from an early age. Today the artist patiently collects pigeon and mallard feathers which are carefully washed and sorted in preparation for each new sculpture.
Yes, it’s an ad, but it’s a darn good one. This fun video from Mercedes-Benz demonstrates a chickens (as well as many other birds) ability to keep its head almost perfectly positioned in the same place despite moving its body from side to side. Destin over at SmarterEveryDay discussed the phenomenon back in 2008 and I’ve included it above for reference. Y’know, for science.
One night while walking the streets of Porvoo, Finland with a camera in hand, photographer Mikko Lagerstedt (previously) captured the silhouette of a large cat off in the distance lit feintly from behind by a street lamp. Struck by the image, he conceived of a new series called Night Animals, where all kinds of wildlife would prowl the streets of this small Finnish town at night. As much as I want to tell you he raided the local zoo to liberate an ostrich, the images are all composites of two photos, an animal and backdrop, both shot by Lagerstedt. If you liked this also check out Shauna Richardson’s Crochetdermy.
Onithology. Collage on asuka and watercolor paper, stainless steel, motor and electronics. 2013.
Colibri. Graphite and colored pencil on paper, stainless steel, delrin, motor, electronics. 2011.
Violetear. Acrylic and graphite on paper, stainless steel, delrin, aluminum, motor and electronics. 2011.
Since graduating from the Royal College of Art, artist Juan Fontanive has been exploring moving images and kinetic sculptures. My favorite of his lastest works are these three flipbook machines using drawings, acrylic paintings, and collages of birds. Two of the original machines above, Ornithology and Colibri are currently available through the New Museum.