Embroidery artist Humayrah Bint Altaf stitches fabulously ornate insects and trees that incorporate antique gold twist cord, hundreds of metallic beads, Rococo threads, and other delicate materials. The end results are scarab beetles that could practically crawl off the canvas and honey bees prepared to take flight.
“I often wander through the woods near my home, where I gather leaves, twigs, feathers and other things I can find to bring back home and preserve,” says Bedford-based Altaf. “I also like to incorporate nature’s treasures into my embroideries and with each piece I feel that a part of me has been embedded into my work.”
Designer Joop Bource of Netherlands-based Assembli just released this colorful trio of DIY beetle models. The flat-pack model kits are available in three different beetle species including stag, hercules, and atlas, each in a number of different metallic colors. The kits are currently available on Etsy. (via Lustik)
Commenting on female consumer culture in Japan, artist Aki Inomata decided to dress female bagworms in extravagant attire, handing clippings of women’s dresses to the insects in order to transform them into protective cases. In nature, male bagworms shed these cases when they become moths. Females however, remain in these cases their entire lives, waiting patiently for the attention of a male. Reminded of the similarities to her own gender performance in Japan, Inomata exhibited her work with female bagworms at a department store that sells women’s clothing, her own commentary on what lengths women must still go to in order to be aesthetically accepted by society.
Acilius diving beetle male front tarsus (foot) 100x
If you’ve ever wondered how a diving beetle swims through the water or manages to rest just on the surface, the answer is in part because its foot is infinitely more complicated than your own. As seen above, this microscopic image of a male Acilius sulcatus (diving beetle) by photographer Igor Siwanowicz reveals the extraordinary complexity of this aquatic insect’s tiny appendage. This is just one of many examples of Siwanowicz’s work as a neurobiologist at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Farm Research Campus. His brilliantly colored images show the tree-like structures of moth antennas, the wild details of barnacle legs, and the otherworldly shapes of plant spores. The photos are made with a confocal laser-scanning microscope capable of “seeing” vast amounts of detail beyond what you might capture with a traditional lens-based microscope. You can see much more of his nature photography here. (via Synaptic Stimuli, Wired)
Mechanical Horn Centaur Beetle, 2015. 100 x 100 x 150 cm. Jati Wood, Pine Wood, Electric Dynamo.
Indonesian artist Dedy Shofianto creates unusual kinetic sculptures of insect-like creatures by carving almost every component from wood. Though powered by hidden electronics it’s the exquisitely detailed mandibles, wings, antennae, and gears of these hybrid creatures crafted from locally sourced jati (teak) wood that take center stage. It would seem that a lifetime of wood craftsmanship would have been brought to bear on each piece, all the more impressive considering Shofianto created these pieces when he was only 24 years old while still in school—he graduated from the Art Institute of Indonesia just last year. You can see more of his kinetic works at Redbase Contemporary Art.
Evolution, 2015. 120 x 100 x 144 cm. Jati Wood, Pine Wood, Electric Dynamo, Ultrasound System.
Nyanyian Kumbang Tanduk, 2015. 100 x 80 x 150 cm. Jati Wood, Electric Motor, Ultrasonic Sensor.
Seeking Identity, 2015. 70 x 50 x 125 cm. Jati Wood, Gamelina Wood.
Forget your run-of-the-mill cutesy balloon dogs and crowns twisted at kids birthday parties, Japanese artist Masayoshi Matsumoto (previously) elevates the inflated craft of balloon animals to an entirely different level. The Japanese artist uses a multitude of balloon colors and shapes to sculpt creatures you might not normally associate with the children’s party activity including insects, giant isopods, baboons, and scaly lizards. You can see more of his latest works in this gallery.