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Art

Johnny Joo Photographs Forgotten Structures Overtaken by Nature

February 12, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Photographer Johnny Joo explores abandoned structures overtaken by the natural surroundings that had originally been tamed to make space for them. Joo captures ferris wheels, cottages, malls, schools, armories, and thruways as they slip back into obscurity, covered in undergrowth, vines, and trees. Based in Cleveland, Ohio, the 27-year-old photographer has spent the last ten years traversing the country to explore abandoned spaces. In 2012, Joo started a blog, Architectural Afterlife, where he features his work and writes reflections on his explorations and the history of the all-but-forgotten locations. Joo has published three books of his photographs, and is currently working on a fourth book, which is available for pre-order. He also shares updates on InstagramTwitter, Facebook, and YouTube. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

 



Design History Science

Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours: a Pre-Photographic Guide for Artists and Naturalists

January 31, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

First published in the pre-photographic age, Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours was the preeminent guide to color and its classification for artists, scientists, naturalists, and anthropologists in the 19th-century. Without an image for reference, the book provided immense handwritten detail describing where each specific shade could be found on an animal, plant, or mineral. Prussian Blue for instance could be located in the beauty spot of a mallard’s wing, on the stamina of a bluish-purple anemone, or in a piece of blue copper ore.

The system of classification was first devised by German mineralogist Abraham Gottlob Werner in the late 18th-century. Shortly after Scottish painter Patrick Syme updated Werner’s guide, matching color swatches and his own list of examples to the provided nomenclature.

The book’s poetic names, such as Arterial Blood Red, Berlin Blue, and Verdigris Green, added flourish to the writings of many researchers, allowing vivid descriptions for prose which had previously been limited to a more elementary color palette. Charles Darwin even used the guide during his voyage to the Madeira, Canary, and Cape Verde islands on the H.M.S. Beagle.

The 1814 book has now been republished by Smithsonian Books as a pocket-sized guide, providing a historic connection to vivid colors found in the field for a future generation of artists, scientists, and curious naturalists. You can preorder the 2018 hardcover for its release date on February 6, 2018.  (via Co.Design)

 

 



Photography Science

Radically Unusual Caterpillars Captured by Photographer Igor Siwanowicz

January 30, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Scientist and photographer Igor Siwanowicz (previously) has made a name for himself documenting the phenomenal range of shapes, colors, and structures of creatures in the natural world. His many images of unique caterpillars include wild variations like feathery blue spikes, curling burnt-orange horns, and long black whiskers. Siwanowicz also works as a neurobiologist at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Farm Research Campus in Virginia. He shares more than ten years of his photography on photo.net.

 

 



Art

Mother Earth and Her Daughter Meet in a Mural by Jess X. Snow

December 20, 2017

Laura Staugaitis

A new mural in Philadelphia by Jess X. Snow depicts two abstracted female figures, one young, and one old, both formed of rippling branches, leaves, flowers, and birds in flight. Entitled “A Daughter Migrates Toward The Mother Earth,” the mural was created with the support of public art nonprofit Mural Arts Philadelphia.

In addition to mural-making, Snow is also a poet, filmmaker, and educator. Snow describes her multi-disciplinary work as exploring “survival, joy, and our relationship to the Earth by amplifying the voices of those who refuse to be defined by borders, heteronormativity, gender, color, legislation and time.” You can follow her work and travels on Instagram and Twitter. Snow also designed a screen print with similar imagery available through Justseeds.

 

 



Art Craft

New Paper & Textile Wildlife Sculptures by Kate Kato

November 7, 2017

Laura Staugaitis

Botanical paper artist Kate Kato (previously) continues to use found and recycled paper to build intricate natural dioramas. A buzzing hive of bees makes a home in a matchbox, vintage books are overgrown with paper fungi and colorful wildflowers, and a shadow box is filled with butterflies and beetles. Rather than striving for exact scientific replication, Kato allows the original material to show through, lending a spirit of handcrafted whimsy to her work. Some of the pieces seen here can be purchased through Etsy, and you can explore more of the Wales-based artist’s work on Facebook, and Instagram.

 

 



Craft

Incredibly Lifelike Insects Crafted out of Bamboo by Noriyuki Saitoh

October 7, 2017

Laura Staugaitis

Capturing anatomical essences with uncanny skill, Japanese artist Noriyuki Saitoh constructs life-sized insects using bamboo. The natural material’s versatility lends a surprisingly wide range of colors and textures to each creature. And although the first impression is of insects that are ready to crawl or fly off the page, Saitoh engages a thoughtful process of paring down each bug to its essential forms that give the impression of life.

As the artist writes on his website, “Since we are not preparing specimens and replicas, we strictly measure the [overall] dimensions and prioritize the appearance, impressions, features, and senses rather than proportions being created exactly…reality as a work is born if you thin out the elements and leave room to imagine.”

Saitoh is active on Twitter and Facebook where you can follow more of his creations and see works in progress. (via Lustik)

 

 



Art Craft

Aspen Trees Grow on Delicate Ceramic Vessels by Heesoo Lee

September 21, 2017

Laura Staugaitis

Ceramic artist Heesoo Lee brings the textural depth of aspen forest canopies to her sculptural bowls and vases. Lee painstakingly places each and every leaf by hand, building unique, organic trees that seem to come to life with their shimmering, colorful leaves. While the vibrant glazes add a lifelike layer, the pieces are equally stunning in their unglazed form. The Montana-based artist shares many progress shots and videos on her Instagram, and works are available for purchase on Etsy. (via Lustik)

An unglazed work in progress

 

 

A Colossal

Highlight

Animal Multi-Tool