Yes, it’s that time of year again for the world’s largest flower parade, Corso Zundert in the Netherlands! Located in the small town of Zundert at the Belgian border, the annual parade features 20 giant floats created by various districts within the city. To encourage a wide breadth of creativity the parade never has a theme, leaving teams free to design whatever they want as long as the floats fit the within 20 x 10 meters and are completely adorned with dahlia flowers.
From limitations come creativity. It’s an age-old adage that’s been repeated in almost every industry. And it rings true for the Netherland-based artist Peter Gentenaar, whose billowing paper sculptures were born out of what he couldn’t do with commercial paper. As a printmaker, Gentenaar’s search for a better type of paper led him to an unexpected process of creating his own custom beater that processes and mills long-fiber paper pulp into the material he now uses in his artwork. “My sculptures start as totally 2-dimensional,” says Gentenaar, describing the process in which his organic forms come to life. As the wet pulp dries around the bamboo framework it begins to shrink and curl, “just as a leaf when it drys.”
The resulting sculptures—massive, yet delicate—seem to resemble underwater organisms gracefully floating in water. The pieces are then suspended in mid-air in sprawling spaces like churches. His latest, completed last month, is on display above the main restaurant at Hotel Indigo St. Petersburg. (via My Modern Met)
It’s the biggest time of year for the small town of Zundert in the Netherlands. Twenty gigantic floats were paraded through the city as part of Corso Zundert (previously), an annual flower parade that sees teams of designers and artisans compete to build the most original sculpture covered almost completely with dahlia flowers.
Several floats appearing in Corso Zundert this year contained moving parts, including the winner, Crazy Gold, that had some 53 moving components. You can see a ranking of this years competitors over on Croso Zundert, videos on YouTube, and many more photos courtesy Omroep Brabant.
Abstract rainbows of color fill the landscape in these beautiful photos by French photographer Normann Szkop (nsfw-ish) who hopped in a Cesna with pilot Claython Pender to soar above the tulip fields in Anna Paulowna, a town in North Holland. Collectively, the millions of neatly planted flowers create sprawling patterns and designs that tourists flock to witness with their own eyes every season. See the entire 100+ photograph set over on Flickr. (via twisted sifter)
Aside from being consistently ranked as one of the best countries to live in on Earth, file this as reason #4,123 to stop by the Netherlands: Bloemencorso, the annual parade of flowers in Zundert. That’s right, every float here is made from natural flowers, specifically dahlias. From twisting architectural structures the size of houses to bizarre animatronic birds and puppets, and even animals made from swooping gestures reminiscent of graffiti, Bloemencorso seems to have a little bit of everything. Despite the relatively small nature of Zundert (a small town north east of Belgium with a population of about 20,000) the variety of and ingenuity of these sculptures seems to know no bounds. I’ve embedded an hour-long video of the entire parade from 2012 above, it’s worth skipping around a bit to see everything, and you can see more videos on the event website and in this gallery. Want to see it in person? You’ll need to wait until next year, the next event happens September 1 and 2 of 2013. (thnx, kjeld!)
Photographer Richard Gubbels out of Utrecht, Netherlands shot these amazing photos inside the cooling tower of an abandoned power plant. Really stunning images, definitely click through to see them larger. (via designspiration)