At the age of 14 Johan Scherft made his first papercraft bird which he colored with a pencil, modeled after the flying paper models of english artist of Malcolm Topp. His self-created models along with his drawings gained him admittance to the royal academy of arts in The Hague where he perfected his painting and sculptural techniques. Nearly 30 years later the Dutch artist has become a master of the medium creating a wide variety of objects including dinosaurs, animals, boats, and especially birds. Scherft uses a computer to aid in the initial steps of creating the paper blueprints but everything else is done by hand, a painstaking process that can take several days and occasionally up to a full month to complete.
If you want to explore a bit more head over to his Facebook page and read a bit more about his process on My Modern Met. Scherft also keeps an active YouTube channel where he’s filmed numerous tutorials; don’t miss his solar-powered hummingbird.
As part of the 2012 Festival Arbres en Lumière, an outdoor tree light festival in Geneva, Switzerland, artist Cédric Le Borgne (previously) installed a pair of large birds just off Rue de la Fontaine. Titled Le Désir et la Menace the birds were constructed from wire and lit
from below in a style previously seen in his figurative works giving the forms a glowing, weightless appearance. See much more over on his website. (via ruines humaines)
South African artist DALest and his wife Faith47 just completed these great new avian-themed pieces as part of Pow Wow 13, an annual contemporary art movement in Hawaii. See lots more coverage over at Arrested Motion. (vi arrested motion)
No these aren’t haystacks stuck in a phone pole. Visit the Kalahari Desert in the south of Africa and you’re bound to run into a peculiar animal called the Sociable Weaver Bird. The birds are called “social” not just because they live in organized colonies, but because they build massive homes out of sticks, grass and cotton that are home to several other kinds birds. That’s right, the nests are so large that birds of other species are welcome to setup shop, not the least of which is the South African pygmy falcon which lives exclusively inside the social weaver’s nests that often accommodate over 100 birds at at time. Via the San Diego Zoo:
The sociable weaver’s nest sees plenty of guests—a regular Kalahari Desert inn! The South African pygmy falcon Polihierax semitorquatus relies completely on the sociable weavers’ nest for its own home, often nesting side by side with the sociable weavers. The pied barbet, familiar chat, red-headed finch, ashy tit, and rosy-faced lovebird often find comfort in the cozy nesting chambers, too. Vultures, owls, and eagles will roost on the nests’ broad roof. Why are weavers willing to share the huge nest they worked so hard to make? More residents mean more eyes keeping a watch for danger. And the weavers often learn from the other birds where new sources of food can be found.
Photographer Dillon Marsh has a lovely series of weaver bird nest photographs titled Assimilation that are well worth a look. (via neatorama)
Inspired by the forms of animals artist Barbara Franc seeks to capture a sense of motion as she recreates a variety of wildlife from birds to horses using reclaimed materials such as old food tins. Via her artist statement:
I have always been fascinated by the shapes and sculptural forms of animals, they present a never-ending source of inspiration to me. I try to capture a feeling of their movement and presence in my sculpture. For this I use wire and other materials in a way that suggests drawing in three dimensions. This allows me greater freedom to add changes whenever I want during the construction to keep the feeling fluid and to reflect the diversity of movement and form. I increasingly use recycled and discarded materials as I enjoy the challenge of transforming something with a past history into something new and exciting.
You can see much more of her work on her website, and she appears to have a number of works available via Union Gallery. (via junk culture)
Polish photographer Marcin Ryczek snapped this once-in-a-lifetime photograph of a man feeding swans and ducks from a snowy river bank in Krakow. The trifecta juxtaposition between black/white, water/snow, and person/animals is simply astounding. You can download a desktop sized version of the photo here, and check out more of Ryczek’s photos in his portfolio. (via stellar)
Filmmaker Neels Castillon was on a commercial shoot a few days ago, waiting to catch a helicopter flying into a sunset, when suddenly tens of thousands of starlings unexpectedly swarmed the sky in an enormous dance known as a murmuration. With his director of photography, Mathias Touzeris, the two filmed for several minutes capturing some pretty magnificent footage. You might recall a similar murmuration video from last year shot extremely up close and personal using a camera phone that went viral. How do thousands of birds simultaneously make such dramatic changes in their flight patterns? After tons of research, scientists still aren’t sure. The music is Hand-Made by Alt-J. (via vimeo)