Tag Archives: nature

An Explosive New Mural and Paintings by Collin van der Sluijs 

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From the smallest details expressed on canvas to the cracked facade of a multi-story building, Dutch artist Collin van der Sluijs is comfortable investigating what he refers to as “personal pleasures and struggles in daily life.” Working without sketches or notes, the artist dives into each artwork with spray paint, acrylics, and ink as ideas take hold and images slowly emerge. He frequently examines themes of the natural world such as the cycle of life, the depictions of various species of birds, and the psychology of beings both human and animalistic.

Van der Sluijs was most recently in Chicago where he completed a tremendous mural in the south loop as part of the Wabash Arts Corridor that depicts two endangered Illinois birds amongst an explosion of blooms. He also opened his first solo show in the U.S. titled “Luctor Et Emergo” at Vertical Gallery, featuring a wide range of paintings and drawings. You can follow more of his work on Flickr.

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Site-Specific Pinhole Cameras Constructed From Nature Capture the Pacific Northwest 

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Site-specific pinhole image of Pescadero Creek, image via David Janesko

In a meta, Mother Nature-inspired project, artists David Janesko and Adam Donnelly use objects from the earth to photograph the environment from which they are found, often utilizing leaves, logs, dirt, and scattered wood to produce hazy images of the world around them. To date, the pair has made approximately 28 cameras, each with a preexisting lens. Janesko and Donnelly do not create an aperture for the natural cameras by hand, but rather use ones already available in the form of a chewed hole in a leaf or a piece of bark that already has a crack.

The body of the camera is much larger, and like the lens, is only constructed from the material around them, much like a small fort. One of the two will stand outside the camera as a shutter, while the other remains inside with the photographic paper, sometimes for as long as 45 minutes. “We build and photograph with the camera in a single day, we leave the camera as we made it, to fall apart and disappear back into the environment,” Janesko told The Creators Project.

Janesko and Donnelly attempt to capture the physical experience of their cameras in each photograph—producing a muffled and patient image of the lands which they enter. Previously the two had documented the San Francisco Bay Area, but are now heading to the Rio Grande River where their new land cameras will be recorded for an upcoming documentary. You can learn more about the film on their IndieGoGo. (via The Creators Project)

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Pinhole leaf lens, image via David Janesko

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Coachella Valley (2015), image via Adam Donnelly

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Site-specific pinhole image of Big Basin, image via David Janesko

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Alamere Falls (2015), image via Adam Donnelly

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King’s Canyon (2015), image via Adam Donnelly

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Coachella Valley (2015), image via Adam Donnelly

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Site-specific pinhole image of Point Reyes Kehoe Beach, image via David Janesko

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Gazo’s Creek (2015), image via Adam Donnelly

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Gazo’s Creek (2015), image via Adam Donnelly

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New Species of Unusual Jellyfish Discovered 2.3 Miles Below the Ocean’s Surface 

In what looks more like a scene out of a James Cameron movie, researchers on a NOAA expedition aboard the Okeanos Explorer were filming with the help of an ROV in the Marianas Trench last week when an improbable creature suddenly popped into the frame. With just a few wiry tentacles and a cluster of 8 brightly reflective orbs inside its body, this new jellyfish looks like something from the realm of Photoshop than science. But incredibly, it’s real, living happily at 2.3 miles (~3,700 meters) underwater. From Scientific American:

Scientists believe this animal belongs to the genus Crossota, a group of jellies that does not have a sessile polyp stage; all phases of their lives are ocean drifters. They also believe this animal is an ambush predator – note the posture it had assumed in the first half of the video: its bell motionless with its tentacles outstretched like the struts of a spider’s web, waiting for something to bumble into them. The red canals, they suggest, appear to connect the bright yellow objects, which may be gonads.

You can get more photo and video updates from the Okeanos Explorer here. (via Neatorama, Scientific American)

Update: An earlier version of this article mentioned the jellyfish may be ‘bioluminescent’. While that may be true in some regard, several people with much more impressive scientific credentials than mine have written to suggest the “lights” seen inside the jellyfish in this video are merely reflective. The most likely scenario is that the gonads of this particular species exhibit some form of fluorescence but do not illuminate independently. Thanks, Steven.

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Dramatic Aerial Landscape Photos of Our Impact on Nature Captured by Daniel Beltrá 

February 8th 2007. Southern Ocean.

February 8th 2007, Southern Ocean, all images © Daniel Beltrá

During his past two decades as a photographer, Daniel Beltrá has photographed landscapes in all seven continents, exploring equally the beauty and tragedy found in nature across the globe. Beltrá works mostly in the air, providing the viewer with the expansive scale of what he encounters while perched inside an airplane or helicopter such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill which he captured over the span of two months.

Other locations the Spanish photographer has traveled to included the Brazilian Amazon, the Arctic, the Southern Oceans, and the Patagonian ice fields. Beltrá was drawn to each of these locations due to the complexity of nature found at each. He explains in his artist statement that the “fragility of our ecosystems is a continuous thread throughout my work. My photographs show the vast scale of transformation our world is under from human-made stresses.”

Beltrá hopes that his unique aerial perspective and subject matter instill an understanding of how we are directly affecting the environment around us and at the edges of the globe. Many of his images from locations in Iceland and Greenland were recently included in his solo exhibition “Ice/Green Lands” at Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago that closed on March 5, 2016. The photographer also recently published a collection of his images from the 2010 BP oil spill in his book SPILL. You can see more of his expansive landscape photography on his Instagram and Facebook. (via Ignant)

August 19th, 2014. Ilulissat, Greenland

August 19th, 2014, Ilulissat, Greenland

August 24th, 2014. Ilulissat, Greenland

August 24th, 2014, Ilulissat, Greenland

July 7th 2014, Iceland aerials

July 7th 2014, Iceland aerials

Water in Iceland's Ölfusá River flows around sandbars towards the Atlantic Ocean, July 7th 2014. The Ölfusá is Iceland's largest river and its watershed drains 6100 square kilometers or 1/7th of Iceland, including the Langjökull glacier. According to a recent study by the University of Arizona to be published in Geophysical Research Letters, parts of Iceland are rising as much as 35mm per year; this is directly related to the melting of Iceland's glaciers and to global warming.

July 7th 2014, Iceland’s Ölfusá River

September 16, 2013. Brazil. Aerials from Manaus to Santarem. Photo by Daniel Beltra for Greenpeace

September 16, 2013, Brazil. Aerials from Manaus to Santarem

September 10th, 2012. Arctic Ocean. Greenpeace MY Arctic Sunrise ship expedition to the Arctic to document the lowest sea ice level on record. Photo by Daniel Beltra for Greenpeace

September 10th, 2012, Arctic Ocean

Para, Brazil. February 11, 2012. Aerials south of Santarem and along the road BR163. Rainforest in the Tapajós River, coordinates: -4.737923-56.448047. Photo by Daniel Beltra for Greenpeace

February 11, 2012, Para, Brazil

Louisiana (USA). May 6th, 2010. Aerial view of the oil leaked from the Deepwater Horizon wellhead, the BP leased oil platform exploded April 20 and sank after burning. Leaking an estimate of more than 200,000 gallons of crude oil per day from the broken pipeline to the sea. Eleven workers are missing, presumed dead. Photo by Daniel Beltra/Greenpeace

May 6th, 2010, Aerial view of the oil leaked from the Deepwater Horizon wellhead

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Suspended Tree Sculptures Connect an Artist to His Cuban Roots 

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“Espiritual conexion” (2012), paper, cable, fabric, acrylics and wood, 17.7 x 39.3 x 19.6 inch, all images via Jorge Mayet

Jorge Mayet's tree sculptures produced from paper, wire, fabric, and acrylic showcase the ways in which a tree’s roots often mimic the branches that sprout above ground. In these suspended works the underground systems are far more expansive than what appears above the earth, showing the viewer that what typically appears before us is only half of the real picture. Hanging from invisible wires, Mayet works are a conceptual connection to his own memories and roots growing up in Cuba, a visual metaphor for being uprooted from his home country.

The Cuban expatriate currently lives and works in Mallorca, Spain where he focuses his practice on allegorical landscapes like the ones seen here. You can see more of Mayet’s sculptures on his Facebook. (via Cross Connect Magazine)

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“Me desprendo de ti” (2009), paper, wire, fabric and acrylic, 66.9 x 23.6 x 23.6 inch

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Close up of Me desprendo de ti (2009), paper, wire, fabric and acrylic

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“Untitled” (2009), paper, wire, fabric and acrylic, 39.3 x 19.6 x 19.6 inch

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“Ochún” (2009), wood, paper, wire, fabric and acrylic, 39.3 x 19.6 x 19.6 inch

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“Sobre natural” (2008), wire, paper maché, textil and acrylics, 62.9 x 33.8 x 33.8 inch

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“A todos mis santos” (2008), paper, wire, acrylics and yarn, 45.2 x 27.5 x 23.6 inch

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“Corazón de Fuego” (2010), paper, cable, fabric, acrylics and resin, 55.1 x 33.4 x 33.4 inch

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“Tierra nueva” (2009), paper, wire, fabric and acrylic, 39.3 x 19.6 x 19.6 inch

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“Culto dialéctico de lo sagrado” (2010), paper, feathers, beads and acrylic, 15.3 x 53.1 x 26.3 inch

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Tiny Mixed Media Worlds and Creatures Inside Antique Boxes by Allison May Kiphuth 

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Quiet, 2015. Ink, watercolor, paper and pins in antique box. 5.5″h x 11.75″w x 4.5″d.

Artist Allison May Kiphuth captures scenes inspired by her surroundings in Maine and along the New Hampshire sea coast by squeezing them into small wooden boxes scarcely a few inches wide. Her mixed media dioramas are constructed from layered ink and watercolor illustrations assembled with pins and string inside antique boxes. The content of each artwork varies from piece to piece from underwater scenes of sea life, to magical tiny worlds populated by forest creatures.

Kiphuth recently had a solo show titled Interior at Paxton Gate Curiosities for Kids and will have work on view next month at the What Goes Around show at Nahcotta Gallery in New Hampshire. You can see more of her work at Enormous Tiny Art and on Instagram. (via Colossal Submissions)

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The Meeting, 2015. Ink, watercolor, paper, pin and thread in antique box. 4.25″h x 4.25″w x 1.75″d.

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Nocturne, 2015. Ink, watercolor, paper and pins in antique box. 6.5″h x 4.5″w x 3.625″d. // Contentment, 2015. Ink, watercolor, paper, thread and pins in antique box. 7″h x 4.5″w x 3.75″d.

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The Spectators, 2015. Ink, watercolor, paper and thread in antique box. 4.25″h x 6.5″w x 3.75″d.

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Harbor, 2015. Ink, watercolor, paper and pins in antique box. 2.5″h x 3.125″w x 2″d.

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Perch, 2015. Ink, watercolor and paper in antique box. 1.25″h x 2.75″w x 1.125″d.

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