Tag Archives: land art

Precarious Bridges and Towers of Balanced Rocks by Michael Grab

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Working only with rocks, gravity, and patience, artist Michael Grab (previously) builds precarious towers and bridges that seem to defy gravity. Grab first tried stone balancing during the summer of 2008 while exploring Boulder Creek in Boulder, Colorado, and quickly discovered an innate ability to build increasingly complicated, free standing stacks of rocks. While his stone sculptures rely heavily on intuition and experience, there’s actually a method he uses in most of his work involving hidden “tripods” found on the surface of any rock. He shares in detail:

Balance requires a minimum of three contact points. Luckily, every rock is covered in a variety of tiny to large indentations that can act as a natural tripo for the rock to stand upright, or in most orientations you can think of with other rocks. By paying close attention to the vibrations of the rocks, you will start to feel even the smallest “clicks” as the notches of the rocks are moving over one another. In the finest “point-balances,” these clicks can be felt on a scale smaller than millimeters, and in rare cases can even go undetected, in which case intuition and experience become quite useful.

You can watch the video above to see Grab at work over the last year, and also see more photography of his stone balaning in his online portfolio or on Facebook. Grab survives mostly off print sales, so if you’re in need of a fancy new calendar for 2015, he’s got you covered.

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An Expansive Swirling Snow Drawing Atop a Frozen Lake by Sonja Hinrichsen

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Early last year, artist Sonja Hinrichsen (previously) and some 60 volunteers wearing snowshoes trekked out onto the frozen Catamount Lake in Colorado to trample miles of swirling and twisting patterns into the deep snow. Titled Snow Drawings at Catamount Lake, the work was a continuation of her community-based snow drawing projects that bring together local volunteers to transform snowy landscapes into temporary artworks based on parameters provided by Hinrichsen. From her statement about the project:

It is important to me that participants experience the elements of nature while they help me transform their own familiar snow landscape into a piece of art. I hope that the aerial photographs that I take right after completion of each piece can demonstrate also to a larger audience how the landscape is transformed into a piece of art through a system of designs. This changes our perception of the landscape and accentuates the beauty and magic of the natural environment, and thus inspires awe and appreciation for art as well as for nature. I deem this important – especially as modern society becomes increasingly disconnected from the natural world.

Hinrichsen most recently completed a snow drawing project that traced the original flow of the Yampa River in Routt County, Colorado and has upcoming projects scheduled in Illinois and the French Alps.

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Desert Breath: A Monumental Land Art Installation in the Sahara Desert

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Photo by D.A.ST. Arteam courtesy the artists

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Photo by D.A.ST. Arteam courtesy the artists

Located near the Red Sea in El Gouna, Egypt, Desert Breath is an impossibly immense land art installation dug into the sands of the Sahara desert by the D.A.ST. Arteam back in 1997. The artwork was a collaborative effort spanning two years between installation artist Danae Stratou, industrial designer Alexandra Stratou, and architect Stella Constantinides, and was meant as an exploration of infinity against the backdrop of the largest African desert. Covering an area of about 1 million square feet (100,000 square meters) the piece involved the displacement of 280,000 square feet (8,000 square meters) of sand and the creation of a large central pool of water.

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Photo by D.A.ST. Arteam courtesy the artists

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Photo by D.A.ST. Arteam courtesy the artists

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Photo by D.A.ST. Arteam courtesy the artists

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Photo by D.A.ST. Arteam courtesy the artists

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Photo by D.A.ST. Arteam courtesy the artists

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Photo by D.A.ST. Arteam courtesy the artists

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Photo by D.A.ST. Arteam courtesy the artists

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Photo by D.A.ST. Arteam courtesy the artists

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Photo by D.A.ST. Arteam courtesy the artists

Although it’s in a slow state of disintegration, Desert Breath remains viewable some 17 years after its completion, you can even see it in satellite images taken from Google Earth. You can learn more about the project in the video above or read about it here. (via Visual News, Synaptic Stimuli)

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New Flower Mandalas by Kathy Klein

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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.

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Ephemeral Environmental Sculptures Evoke Cycles of Nature

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For over 20 years environmental artist and photographer Martin Hill has been creating temporary sculptures from ice, stone, and organic materials that reflect nature’s cyclical system. Often working with his longtime partner Philippa Jones, the duo create sculptures and other installations that “metaphorically express concern for the interconnectedness of all living systems.” Speaking specifically about the use of circles Hill shares:

The use of the circle refers to nature’s cyclical system which is now being used as a model for industrial ecology. Sustainability will be achieved by redesigning products and industrial processes as closed loops—materials that can’t safely be returned to nature will be continually turned into new products. Of course this is only one part of the redesign process. We need to use renewable energy, eliminate all poisonous chemicals, use fair trade and create social equity.

You can see much more of Hill’s work in his online gallery, on Flickr, and over on his blog where you can learn about new projects including a major new show titled Watershed for the McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery that opens in Melbourne in February. (via My Modern Met)

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WISH: A Monumental 11-Acre Portrait in Belfast by Jorge Rodríguez-Gerada

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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)

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Pool, The Alchemy of Blue—Found Concrete Installations by Lizzie Buckmaster Dove

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Photo courtesy David Corbett

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Photo courtesy David Corbett

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Photo courtesy David Corbett

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Photo courtesy Lizzie Buckmaster Dove

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Photo courtesy Lizzie Buckmaster Dove

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Photo courtesy Bernie Fischer

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Photo courtesy Bernie Fischer

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Photo courtesy Bernie Fischer

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.

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