To commemorate the centennial of Britain’s involvement in the First World War, ceramic artist Paul Cummins and stage designer Tom Piper conceived of a staggering installation of ceramic poppies planted in the famous dry moat around the Tower of London. Titled “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red,” the final work will consist of 888,246 red ceramic flowers—each representing a British or Colonial military fatality—that flow through grounds around the tower.
Volunteers began placing the poppies several weeks ago and the process will continue through the summer until a final flower is symbolically planted on November 11th. You can read more about the project over on the Historic Royal Palaces website, and see the volunteers’ progress by following the #TowerPoppies hashtag on Twitter.
Canadian design collective Daily Tous Les Jours (previously) was recently invited to bring their fantastic musical light swing installation to the Green Box Arts Festival in Green Mountain Falls, Colorado. The interactive swing set titled simply, The Swings, is comprised of illuminated panels that also trigger audible tones that harmonize as people swing. As more and more people join in the act of swinging turns into randomly improvised melody and light show. From their project site:
The Swings allow participants to make music with their entire bodies, to connect to one another and to have a sense of ownership of public space due to the music they create. The result is a giant collective instrument that brings together people of all ages and backgrounds. The project offers a new experience in collective music making, available to enliven urban spaces, festivals, special events, and more.
The Swings were on view through July 11th of this month, but the entire installation is now on tour. If you’re interested in bringing it to your own arts event, get in touch at the bottom of this page.
For the 2013 KOBE Biennale artists and designers were invited to create environments inside industrial shipping containers as part of the ‘Art in a Container International Competition.’ Designers Masakazu Shirane and Saya Miyazaki created Wink Space, a modular installation made from mirrors that formed a giant kaleidoscopic tunnel. Not only was the piece an fun immersive environment, but it was also an experiment in building with zippers. “We wanted to create the world’s first zipper architecture. In other words, this polyhedron is completely connected by zippers. And in order to facilitate even more radical change some of the surfaces open and close like windows,” says Shirane.
If you visited Governor’s Island in New York last summer you most certainly saw the billowing, cloud-like structure that sits in the middle of the lawn. And if you’re anything like my kids you probably dashed up to it to see exactly what thing was. But it’s not until you get up close that you realize it’s made from many, many plastic bottles stringed together. “53,780 used plastic bottles,” says designer Jason Klimoski, “the number thrown away in NYC in just 1 hour.” Klimoski and his team at STUDIO KCA collected the bottles – a combination of milk jugs and water bottles – and lashed them together to create “Head in the Clouds,” a pavilion people can walk into, sit inside, and contemplate just how much plastic is thrown away every day.
The structure, however, was temporary and the team is now looking for its next home. If you’re interested in having this in your back yard get in touch with the designers.
Walter Hugo & Zoniel, The Physical Possibility of Inspiring Imagination in the Mind of Somebody Living (2014). All courtesy Gazelli Art House and the artists.
Residents of Liverpool, England must have been surprised and confused when, last month, as the evening set in, the shutters of an old derelict building autonomously opened, emanating a bluish glow onto the street. What was revealed behind the old garage door was a space completely taken over by a large fish tank filled with jellyfish peacefully floating and hovering in the gentle blue water.
This secret magical window, which only opens at night is, in fact, a large-scale, site-specific art installation by the artist duo Walter Hugo & Zoniel. “The psychedelic display is intended to have a discordant presence within the building and to intrigue those in the surrounding area,” says Gazelli Art House, who are not only supporting the project but are live-streaming a video from within the tank and into their gallery space in London some 200 miles away. The projection is viewable both from within the gallery but also from the street outside, creating a virtual corridor between the two cities.
The project, which is titled “The Physical Possibility of Inspiring Imagination in the Mind of Somebody Living” is up until July 27, 2014 at 53 High Park Street in Liverpool. You can also purchase digital versions of the artwork right here. (via designboom)
Back in 2010, a trio of art students from Klasse Löbbert in Germany took it upon themselves to transform a boring electrical tower into a translucent, stained glass installation. Titled Leuchtturm (Lighthouse) the urban artwork in Hattingen, Germany was conceived by Ail Hwang, Hae-Ryan Jeong and Chung-Ki Park, who used cut triangles of Acrylglas to mimic the function of traditional stained glass pieces. If you liked this, also check out William Lamson’s sugar solarium or Tom Fruin’s Watertower in Brooklyn.
Towering 52 feet (16 meters) into the air, 5,000 Arms to Hold You is the latest bamboo installation by artists Doug and Mike Starn at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. This is the 9th construction in twin brother’s Big Bambú series that seeks to explore how order is created from the chaos of life through elaborate bamboo sculptures. For this new piece the duo worked with a team of mountain climbers to help assemble the precarious form using over 10,000 bamboo poles over a month-long period. It is the largest and most complex sculptural installation they have ever undertaken.
“The concept of Big Bambú has nothing to do with bamboo,” Mike Starn tells the Israel Museum. “Big Bambú represents the invisible architecture of life and living things. It is the random interdependence of moments, trajectories intersecting, and actions becoming interaction, creating growth and change.” “It is philosophic engineering, a demonstration of chaotic interdependence,” adds Doug.
5,000 Arms to Hold You opened to the public on June 16th, and visitors are invited to explore the interactive maze from all angles, including the opportunity to ascend to the very top. You can learn more on the project’s dedicated website, and see many more bamboo installations by the Starn brothers here.