Using the flower petals of carnations, daisies, mums and other wildflowers Arizona-based artist Kathy Klein (previously) creates temporary mandalas in outdoor locations near her home. She calls the pieces danmalas (‘the giver of garlands’ in Sanskrit), and each piece is photographed and then left to be discovered by others. If you’re desperate for any hint of spring in your space, Klein now offers prints and has a 2014 calendar of her best works.
Scientific illustrator and artist Noel Badges Pugh has an incredible knack for drawing flora and fauna. He recently illustrated an entire field guide about bees and keeps a regular Tumblr, Art in Progress & Completion, where he posts these tantalizing drawings of buds and blooms. Maybe it’s because this is the coldest winter in 30 years, but I’m spending the rest of my day looking at these. (via Gaks)
In an unparalleled feat of natural selection the Orchid Mantis (Hymenopus coronatus) from Southeast Asia has evolved to look almost exactly like an orchid flower in order to lure unsuspecting prey. If looking like a plant isn’t impressive enough the clever insect also changes color from pink to brown according to its environment. (via Boing Boing)
The life of a flower usually ends in slow, inglorious decay as petals wilt and succombs to the cycle of life, but these flowers shot by German photographer Martin Klimas go out with a bang. You might recognize Klimas’ work from his wildly popular series of shattered ceramic figures photographed at high speed as they hit the ground. For his exploding flower photographs the artist first soaked them in liquid nitrogen to ensure the petals were brittle as eggshells and then blasted them from behind with an air gun resulting in dazzling bursts of color.
It’s the biggest time of year for the small town of Zundert in the Netherlands. Twenty gigantic floats were paraded through the city as part of Corso Zundert (previously), an annual flower parade that sees teams of designers and artisans compete to build the most original sculpture covered almost completely with dahlia flowers.
Several floats appearing in Corso Zundert this year contained moving parts, including the winner, Crazy Gold, that had some 53 moving components. You can see a ranking of this years competitors over on Croso Zundert, videos on YouTube, and many more photos courtesy Omroep Brabant.
Built in 1608, the Staircase of Santa Maria del Monte is a 142-step staircase in Caltagirone, Sicily made from thousands of ceramic tiles, one design per step, as a fitting tribute to a city known for its design and production of ceramics and terra-cotta sculptures. For centuries the stairs have been used as a backdrop for various festivals for which images of patron saints and other local themes are illustrated using thousands of flowers or candles. You can learn more about the La Scala Flower Festival over on My Modern Met, or the light festival called the Scala Illuminata. Photos by Andrea Annaloro. (via My Modern Met)
Peacock made of butterfly pea flowers, bottlebrush leaves, coconut leaf sticks, allamandas/trumpet flowers
Rooster made of gerberas and leaves
Parrot made from butterfly peas and gerberas
Kingfisher made of gerberas, butterfly peas and purple shamrocks
Hornbill made of chrysanthemums, germeras and purple shamrocks
Flamingos made from pink gerberas and twigs
Flamingo made from pink gerberas and twigs
Northern cardinal made of red gerberas and deep purple chrysanthemums with dill
Known for her numerous art projects where images are created using numerous objects, artist Red Hong Yi has begun a new series of birds made with flower petals and leaves. You might remember the project from earlier this spring where she played with her food. Many more birds are forthcoming and you can follow along via Instagram. (via designboom)
In the terrifying wake of 2011 the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan, funerals become a commonplace ordeal as the nation dealt with unprecedented loss. Like most cultures, Japanese funerals are somber affairs punctuated with black and white with any deviation considered taboo or inappropriate. Reflecting on the enormity of recent events, funeral home Nishinihon Tenrei approached Tokyo-based ad agency I&S BBDO to create an ad for a trade show that would buck the trend of muted colors so prevalent in the industry. The agency responded with this unprecedented figure of a skeleton made with pressed flowers that overtly celebrates the cycle of life by introducing color and elements of nature that are often avoided in such services. The image was considered so successful it went on to win a design merit award from the 2013 One Club Awards. You can see it in even higher resolution here. (via spoon & tamago)