Influenced by a childhood fascination with botanical illustrations and collecting bits of natural ephemera, artist Kate Kato crafts detailed sculptures of the various mushrooms, flowers, and beetles found within the Welsh valley where she currently resides. The sculptures are typically built to accurately reflect the size of their subject, each constructed out of recycled bits of paper that Kato tints with natural dyes.
“For me my work can be very nostalgic, taking me back to my childhood and the curiosity that fueled my creativity,” said Kato in her artist statement. “I like to use recycled paper as it reflects that nostalgia, and gives the sculptures a history and narrative. I like people to be able to see where the materials have come from, as well as what I have turned them into, evoking that childish curiosity we all have somewhere inside!”
Kato’s work will be a part of the upcoming exhibition “Paper” at Confluence Gallery in Twisp, Washington from October 15th through November 19, 2016. You can purchase Kato’s sculptures either online through her Etsy, or in-person at The Craft Centre and Design Gallery in Leeds, UK. (via Lustik)
It’s been well over a year since we last checked in with Australian photographer Steve Axford (previously here and here) who ventures into forested areas near his home in New South Wales to photograph the unusual forms of fungi, slime molds, and lichens he finds growing there. The permutations in color, shape, and size found in each specimen are a testament to the radical diversity of living creatures found in just a small area.
A handful of the images seen here, namely the “hairy” fungi called Cookeina Tricholoma, were photographed last year on a trip to Xishuangbanna, China and Chiang Mai, Thailand. Axford suspects that some of the species he encounters may be unknown to science and that he may have documented them for the first time. You can see more mushroom goodness on Axford’s Facebook and Flickr pages.
Inspired by spring flora and fungus, 21-year-old Emillie Ferris embroiders one-of-a-kind hoops that feature detailed rabbits, foxes, and mushrooms. The works are handstitched and kept on their original frame, drawing the viewer’s attention to the amount of handiwork that went into each animal’s coat or spotted mushroom cap. You can see more of the UK-based artist’s work, including her recent series of custom pet portraits, on her Instagram and Tumblr. (via So Super Awesome)
Mister Finch (previously here and here) returns this holiday season with brand new specimens, toadstools produced from vintage fabrics that capture the mushroom-capped fungus is elegant detail. Like those who enjoy the hunt of a dedicated mushroom forage, Mister Finch likes the adventure of finding the perfect fabric, utilizing materials from wedding dresses to curtains rich in history to sew his hauntingly accurate works.
In additional to mushrooms—flowers, insects, and birds also capture the creative attention of the UK-based artist due to their lifecycles and the British folklore that surrounded the particular flora and fauna. Although he has no classic training in either sewing or sculpture, Mister Finch’s sculptures beautifully capture the fine detail inherent to his small subject matter, delicately crafting everything from root systems to subtle hints of rot.
For his current exhibition, Mister Finch has included sculptures and photographs taken by the photographer Patricia Heal. These images place the toadstools against black backdrops, bringing attention to the superb craftsmanship of his work and its relationship to a Victorian era aesthetic. These works will occupy Steven Kasher Gallery in New York City through December 23rd, 2015. To see more of Mister Finch’s vintage textile crafted works visit his Instagram and Facebook page here. (via Wallpaper*)
Photographer Steve Axford (previously) continues his quest to document some of the world’s most obscure fungi found in locations around Australia. Axford lives and works in the Northern Rivers area of New South Wales in Australia where he often has to travel no further than his own back yard to make some of the discoveries you see here. The forms of fungi, slime molds, and lichens he prefers to document seem to have no limit in their diverse characteristics. Axford explained when we first featured his work last year that he suspects many of the tropical species he stumbles onto are often completely undocumented. You can follow more of Axford’s discoveries on Flickr and SmugMug.
Cast and hand-shaped abaca, embellished with cotton rag; each copy 14-18″H x 15″W x 16-18″D. Edition of 99.
(S)Edition is an installation of 99 books made to look like common Amanita Muscaria mushrooms by Chicago artist Melissa Jay Craig. The installation has been shown in a various configurations the last few years, and only once in its entirety at the Morgan Conservatory in Cleveland, Ohio back in 2010. From her statement about the installation:
Fungus is an agent of change. I’m fascinated with its myriad forms, and I love to go in search of it. I can become more excited by discovering a beautiful fungal growth than by perusing artwork ‘discovered’ for us by curators in contemporary museums. When I was a child, the first time I had the intriguing feeling that the planet carried messages (texts, if you will) for those who were curious enough to look, was when I came upon a group of Amanita Muscaria, huddled together in a dark, secret space under tall pines.
You can see more views of these fungal books on her website. (via Green Chair Press)