Unveiled several days ago in Belfast, Northern Ireland as part of the Belfast Festival, WISH is the latest public art project by Cuban-American artist Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada, known for his monumentally scaled portraits in public spaces. The image depicted is of an anonymous Belfast girl and is so large it can only be viewed from the highest points in Belfast or an airplane.
Several years in the making, WISH was first plotted on a grid using state-of-the-art Topcon GPS technology and 30,000 manually placed wooden stakes in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter. The portrait was then “drawn” with aid of volunteers who helped place nearly 8 million pounds of natural materials including soil, sand, and rock over a period of four weeks. Rodríguez-Gerada says of the endeavor:
Working at very large scales becomes a personal challenge but it also allows me to bring attention to important social issues, the size of the piece is intrinsic to the value of its message. Creativity is always applied in order to define an intervention made only with local materials, with no environmental impact, that works in harmony with the location.
The project was made possible by several local businesses, most notably McLaughlin & Harvey, P.T McWilliams, Tobermore and Lagan Construction who generously donated materials, tools, machinery, staff, soil, sand and stone. WISH will be up through at least December and local residents already have a nickname for it: The Face from Space. (via Arrested Motion)
Coledale is a small seaside village in New South Wales, Australia, a place known for its surfing and slow pace of life. It’s also home to artist Lizzie Buckmaster Dove who for years has taken daily walks along the beach, stopping to pick up things she found along the way. One of the objects she collected most frequently were smooth stones painted light blue on a single side which she would eventually discover were fragments of an oceanside sea pool that was being slowly consumed by the surf.
With help from a grant provided by the Australia Council for the Arts, Dove set to work on a series of installations using the swimming pool concrete. Titled Pool, The Alchemy of Blue, the works are meant as sort of an homage to lunar cycles and the moon’s power to create the tides that reclaimed the Coledale pool. Before an imminent construction project to completely resurface the pool Dove collected even larger pieces of the pool which would eventually help form the suspended installation you see above at Wollongong City Gallery.
You can see a video of Dove discussing the series by Theme Media and see much more work on her website.
Armed with little more than standard garden rake, environmental artist Tony Plant transforms the breathtakingly scenic beaches of England into temporary canvases for his swirling sand drawings. Each work is created below the tidal zones where the sand is flatter and wetter, allowing for greater contrast as he quickly drags the rake into various geometric patterns. The beauty however is fleeting as the artworks last only a few hours before being consumed by the incoming tide. Recently Plant’s work was used in the music video above by Light Colours Sound for recording artist Ruarri Joseph. If you liked this also check out the sand art of Jim Denevan and Andres Amadore. (via faith is torment)
Since 2004 England-based Simon Beck has strapped on a pair of snowshoes and lumbered out into the the freshly fallen snow at the Les Arcs ski resort in France to trample out his distinctly geometric patterns, footprint by footprint. Each work takes the 54-year-old artist anywhere between 6 hours and two days to complete, an impressive physical feat aided from years of competitive orienteering. The orienteering also helps him in the precise mapping process which often begins on a computer before he’s able to mark landmarks in the snow that guide his precise walking patterns. All of the works above (with the exception of the portrait) are from the last few weeks, you can see several years worth of work over on Facebook.
Land artist Michael Grab creates astonishing towers and orbs of balanced rocks using little more than patience and an astonishing sense of balance. Grab says the art of stone balancing has been practiced by various cultures around the world for centuries and that he personally finds the process of balancing to be therapeutic and meditative.
Over the past few years of practicing rock balance, simple curiosity has evolved into therapeutic ritual, ultimately nurturing meditative presence, mental well-being, and artistry of design. Alongside the art, setting rocks into balance has also become a way of showing appreciation, offering thanksgiving, and inducing meditation. Through manipulation of gravitational threads, the ancient stones become a poetic dance of form and energy, birth and death, perfection and imperfection.
Almost all of the works you see here were completed this fall in locations around Boulder, Colorado. You can see much more in his portfolio as well as several videos of him working over on YouTube.
Huge mounds of firewood are a common site here in the midwest, but in the capable hands of Michigan artist Michael McGillis a row of logs becomes a unexpectedly beautiful sight. Titled Wake the piece was originally installed back in 2006 at the Franconia Sculpture Park in Shafer, Minnesota and consisted of a 95-foot long trench of cut trees painted purple in the middle as if to reveal a suprising new species of plant. A simple idea, wonderfully executed. (via my darkened eyes)
Spinifex is a recent sculpture by Australian artist Corey Thomas. The piece was constructed from local tree branches and other plant material before being air-lifted with a helicopter into Croajingolong National Park in Victoria. You can see a short video about Corey’s process here. (via my darkened eyes)
I’m really enjoying this land art installation in Baulmes, Switzerland from artist Sylvain Meyer (previously). He says it took nearly two months to harvest and collect enough pine cones to fill 10 bags, and then another two days to complete it. See more over on Flickr.