Fine art photographer Kirsty Mitchell’s (previously) award-winning series of conceptual portraits titled Wonderland will soon be available as a book by the same name. Wonderland began as a small project in 2009 when Mitchell decided to explore childhood stories shared by her mother, an English teacher, who died from cancer several years earlier. Models dressed in lavish costumes were shot against natural settings like deeply wooded forests to evoke the elements of mystery and fantasy enjoyed by Mitchell’s mother. While portraits from the series are extremely detailed and vivid, they remain intentionally ambiguous enough for readers to project their own stories onto them.
The success of her first few photos drove the artwork into uncharted territory as the photoshoots grew into increasingly ornate endeavors where costumes and props for each image were sewn, painted, and assembled by hand, requiring up to five months of prep for a single shot. Mitchell recounts the series’ evolution in an essay on her website. The full collection of 74 storybook images will soon be available in an actual publication currently funding (with wild success) on Kickstarter.
Singapore-based artist Izziyana Suhaimi introduces embroidered accents to her carefully rendered pencil and watercolor illustrations. Patterns of flowers unfold much like a tapestry across the paper canvas creating pieces she refers to as “evidence of the hand and of time.” For her series The Looms in Our Bones Suhaimi focuses mostly on fashion acessories where scarves, hats, and other clothing is depicted in thread, while she also uses the same techniques for more abstract shapes and designs. From her artist statement:
Embroidery for me is a quiet and still act, where each stitch represents a moment passed. The building of stitches then becomes a representation of time passing and the final work is like a physical manifestation of time – a time object. Each stitch is also a recording of the maker’s thoughts and emotions. I enjoy the duality of embroidery, in its movements of stabbing, cutting, covering, building, repairing, taking apart. Every stitch made seems to unfold a story and withhold it at the same time.
You can see much more of Suhaimi’s work here. (via Fubiz)
As part of a recent series of embroideries, artist James Merry softened the bold logos of sportswear companies by adding stitched flora to vintage clothing. For instance a glacier flower and moss grow from an old Nike sweatshirt, and a FILA logo is topped by a mushroom cap. Merry is a longtime collaborator with Björk and creates many of her extravagant costumes for stage and music videos, and you can read a recent interview with him over on i-D. (via Quipsologies, Booooooom)
Digging through electronic refuse and found metal in Kenya’s capital of Nairobi, Cyrus Kabiru refashions found materials into different wearable forms. Often these take the form of flamboyantly composed glasses, large eyewear that can often mask the entire face.
Kabiru explains that his glasses obsession started at a young age, and blossomed as his father crushed his dreams of owning his own pair. “When I was young, I used to admire real glasses but my dad was a bit harsh and he never wanted me to have real glasses. That’s the reason I started making the glasses.”
His creations situate themselves in several different areas of art, shuffling between performance, sculpture, and fashion—embodying the playfulness of the youth generation in Nairobi. “When you walk in town and you see someone with my glasses, the glasses will [get] all your attention,” said Kabiru. “If you have any stress it is like a therapy.”
In addition to his found object sculptures and glasses, Kabiru is a self-taught painter, his subject matter being humorous portrayal of contemporary Kenyan life. His most recent series uses thousands of bottle caps sewn together to depict African nature. “I really love trash. I try to give trash a second chance. I change it to be something else, which is like it will stay for more than 100 years now.” (via prosthetic knowledge)
Working with liquid synthetic resin and wire, Japanese artist Sakae (previously) crafts these ornate bunches of translucent flowers worn as hair sculptural hair ornaments called kanzashi. Kanzashi were traditionally made from small pieces of folded cloth, but have since evolved into a number of different mediums. Each of Sakae’s pins are one-of-kind, requiring anywhere from a few days to a month to fabricate, and due to extraordinarily high demand she chooses to put each piece up for auction through an announcement on her website and Facebook page (usually selling for several thousand dollars). You can see her most recent pieces on Pinterest.
While we’ve seen everyone’s favorite plastic building brick turned into chocolate, retro toy sculptures and street art, we haven’t seen too many fashion accessories. Poland-based Agabag have set about to change that with their huge array of handbags and jewelry encased in official LEGO bricks. They have shops both on their website as well as on Etsy. (via Design Milk)