Photo by Gianluca Giannone courtesy Blinking City>
Photo by Gianluca Giannone courtesy Blinking City
When he was just 16 years old Luigi Prina entered and won a national aircraft modeling competition. When he went to collect the prize money the organizers asked the boy why his father couldn’t come and collect it himself. Nearly fifty years later the now successful architect met a painter and boat builder named Eugenio Tomiolo and while they were talking made a bet that perhaps Prina could take one of his small model ships and make it fly like an airplane. Tomolio accepted and it wasn’t long before a small flying boat was whirring in circles around his small studio that coincidentally had clouds painted on the ceiling. A new passion was born and Prina has since dedicated nearly 20 years of his later life to building flying model boats, bicycles and other unconventional aircraft.
Homebush Bay in Sydney, Australia is home to the remnants of a ship-breaking yard that operated during the mid 20th-century. Large watercraft that outlived their usefulness were towed to Homebush Bay and dismantled to salvage any components that could be reused or sold for scrap.
One such ship was the SS Ayrfield, a 1,140-tonne behemoth built in 1911 as a steam collier that was later used during WWII as a transport ship. In 1972 it was brought to Homebush Bay to be dismantled, but fate would decide differently. Operations at the ship-breaking yard subsequently ceased and parts of several large vessels including the Ayrfield were left behind, the largest objects in an area now infamous for decades of chemical dumping and pollution. But only this century-old transport ship would be transformed by time into a floating forest, a peculiar home for trees and other vegetation that have since sprouted over the last few decades.
From 2008-2010 a concerted effort was made to remove many of the lingering chemicals in Homebush left from the industrial era. Not far away is the Brickpit Ring Walk, a former industrial site where nearly three billion bricks were made from 1911 through the 1980s that is now a carefully protected natural habitat. As the forest has grown inside the SS Ayrfield, the bay is now a popular place for photographers who wish to capture the uncanny sight of this strangely beautiful relic of the bay’s industrial past, not to mention nature’s resiliency.
Constructed from 8,000 sheets of rice paper, 800 bamboo shafts, and suspended by untold lengths of cotton thread, this beautiful installation by Chinese abstract artist Zhu Jinshi was recently on display at ART13 London. Titled Boat, the piece is meant as a sort of metaphor regarding the artist’s journey from east to west, while simultaneously honoring the dead’s passage from living into the afterlife. You can read more about its significance over at this website by Pearl Lam Galleries. (via collabcubed)
Media architect Claudio Benghi and light artist Gloria Ronchi joined together in 2006 to form Aether & Hemera, an interdisciplinary collaboration that seeks “to research the aesthetic challenges of light and its power to trigger emotions and response, creating a sense of identity or setting a mood.” Their latest installation in London’s Canary Wharf is this beautiful fleet of 300 illuminated boats called Voyage. Each floating light is reminiscent of a paper-folded origami boat that is illuminated from within, and I’m told there is a wireless network in the vicinity that allows you to join with your mobile device and somehow alter the color of the entire installation.
Voyage will be up through February 15th, 2013, and while the lights are on during the day, the viewing is probably best at night. I want to thank photographers Sean Batten and Ian Docwra for providing the images for this post.
I love the subtle effect of this installation by Patrick Bérubé. At a distance it looks simply like a white toy container ship resting on the gallery floor. On closer inspection you realize the entire gallery floor has been modified, the gaps between the wooden floorboards mimicking the ocean wake behind the lumbering toy vessel. The piece is part of the Fenêtre sur cour exposition at Gallerie SAS in Montréal that runs through January 12.
I love a good stereographic projection but they seem to be everywhere these days so it’s hard to find somebody doing something truly unique with the method. Buenos Aires-based art student Adrian Felipe Pera managed to do it though with this wonderful boat capture. Instead of skewing the image digitally he used some 40+ large photographs placed in the sand on a beach to create a projection of an old wooden boat. See some more of his planeticas. (via the colossal flickr pool)