Posts tagged
with plants

Amazing Design

A Project Aims to Create the World’s Largest Hanging Garden Since Babylon Within the Branches of a 114-Foot Tree

March 12, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

The French masterminds of mechanical delight, Les Machines de L’ile, have an ambitious new project underway. L’Arbre aux Hérons (The Heron’s Tree) is set to be the largest hanging garden built since ancient Babylon, spanning over 160 feet in diameter and reaching 114 feet into the sky. Their Nantes-based team describes the historic muses behind the project:

Inspired by the worlds of Jules Verne and Leonardo Da Vinci, it is an unprecedented artistic project. After the Grand Elephant and the Machine Gallery in 2007, the Carousel of the Sea Worlds in 2012, the Herons’ Tree is the third phase of the Island’s Machines. Coming out of the minds of François Delaroziere and Pierre Orefice, it will be located along the banks of the Loire River, a few meters away from the house Jules Verne spent his teenage years in and where Jean-Jacques Audubon grew up and drew his first herons.

Les Machines de L’ile have been working on The Heron’s Tree since their inception in 2007, and in the spirit of democratic discovery, their team of skilled craftspeople have been sharing the prototypes with visitors to the Machine Gallery. The sketches and mock-ups for the project include a giant steel tree topped with two herons that each carry twenty passengers on circular flights. Half of the tree’s twenty-two branches can be traversed on foot by visitors, and all of the branches will support hanging terraces of plants and gardens to create a lush ecosystem. The tree itself will be set in an old granite quarry on the cliffs of Brittany.

The goal is to open The Heron’s Tree in 2022, and two thirds of the 35 million euro project cost is being covered by public funding. Les Machines de L’ile is seeking to fund the rest through crowdfunding: you can contribute via Kickstarter. You can also track the project’s progress on Facebook.

A small-scale prototype

A prototype branch

Prototype herons

Sketches for The Heron’s Tree

Sketches for The Heron’s Tree

Sketches for The Heron’s Tree

Digital rendering of walkways





Amok Island Paints Modern Minimalist Murals of Native Flora and Fauna

February 16, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Rotterdam, The Netherlands 2017. ‘Zeus faber’ for SOBER WALLS Festival

A native of The Netherlands and now based in Australia, Amok Island depicts flora and fauna that can be found in the locations of his colorful murals. The artist’s distinctive minimal style is reminiscent of recent trends in digital design. However, his analog use of flat fields of color and geometric shapes to interpret the nuanced forms of animals and plants is a fresh take in the current mural scene.

Amok writes on his website that if weren’t an artist, he would be a biologist. He takes many of his own reference photos (including underwater), and titles each mural with the name of the plant or animal. The artist describes his passion for the natural world:

The theme of natural exploration and conservation is a strong and constant undercurrent of Amok Island’s artistic practice. His lifelong fascination with nature and her relationships and history with mankind drive the artist’s obvious appreciation and obsession with his subjects and his urge to direct the attention of his audience to them.

Amok has finished murals in twenty five countries and counting, and also creates smaller paintings, which he sometimes editions as prints. You can see more work on his website, as well as on Facebook and Instagram.

Ravensthorpe, Western Australia 2016. ‘Six Stages of Banksia Baxteri’ (side 2) Commissioned by FORM WA and CBH

Ravensthorpe, Western Australia 2016. ‘Six Stages of Banksia Baxteri’ (side 1) Commissioned by FORM WA and CBH

Ravensthorpe, Western Australia 2016. ‘Six Stages of Banksia Baxteri’ (in progress) Commissioned by FORM WA and CBH

Axolotl, Mexico

Fremantle, Western Australia 2015. ‘Praying Mantis’ for PUBLIC Festival

Port Hedland, Western Australia 2015. ‘Flatback Turtle Hatchling’ commissioned by FORM WA

Amsterdam, The Netherlands 2016. ‘Horse Chestnut’ Commissioned by LTS / Spooker

Claremont, Western Australia 2017. ‘Mushrooms’ commissioned by FORM / Claremont Quarters

North Fremantle, Western Australia 2015. ‘Blue Swimmer Crab’ for UNDERLINE festival

Collaboration with Georgia Hill and Thomas Jackson in Erskineville, Sydney

Surry Hills, Sydney 2017 ‘Mushroom Study’ Commissiones by Canva



Illustration Photography

New Flower Arrangements Formed Into Exotic Butterflies and Moths by Raku Inoue

February 6, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Montreal-based fashion designer and creative Raku Inoue (previously) continues his Natura Insects series with a focus on brilliantly colored moths and butterflies. The delicate insects were created from seasonal leaves and blooms, with pastel petals and green leaves composing those made in late summer, and warmer tones and brown leaves forming the works made in mid-fall.

The artist learned the importance of utilizing seasonal materials while studying the art of Ikebana—the Japanese art of floral arrangement. This training taught Inoue to respect the nature he works with and only use what is most abundant, rather than focusing on what might look most attractive. Often after a rain he will collect the petals that have fallen to the ground, using these naturally-provided elements rather than searching for flowers still connected to their tree or stem.

You can see more arrangements from his continuing series on Instagram.




Soaring Murals of Plants on Urban Walls by Mona Caron

February 1, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Muralist Mona Caron (previously) has continued her worldwide Weeds series, with colorful renderings of humble plants growing ever taller on buildings from Portland and São Paulo to Spain and Taiwan. The San Francisco-based artist often partners with local and international social and environmental movements for climate justice, labor rights, and water rights, and selects plants, both native and invasive, that she finds in the cities where she paints. Caron also integrates tiny details into the main visual elements of her murals:

Several of these murals contain intricate miniature details, invisible from afar. These typically narrate the local history, chronicle the social life of the mural’s immediate surroundings, and visualize future possibility, and are created in a process that incorporates ideas emerging through spontaneous conversations with the artwork’s hosting communities while painting.

Caron regularly shares process videos and photos of completed works on Instagram, and she delves into the narratives behind several of her murals on her website.

Collaboration with Liqan




New Sparkling Blooms Photographed with Ultraviolet-Induced Visible Fluorescence by Craig Burrows

January 31, 2018

Christopher Jobson

Photographer Craig Burrows (previously) continues to explore a unique photography method called ultraviolet-induced visible fluorescence that uses high-intensity UV lights to excite fluorescence found in some plants, animals, and various objects. Burrows chooses to focus on flowers, creating colorfully vivid interpretations of jade blooms, daisies, and irises that seem to practically glow from within.

Upcoming exhibitions of the artist’s work include the Preview of the Spring 2018 Flower Show in Greenwich CT and the col.lab gallery at Tokyo Polytechnic University. Burrows shares with Colossal that he is currently looking for venues to shoot larger scenes with UVIVF in addition to his existing body of work with smaller objects. You can follow more of his work on Flickr.



Art Craft

Carved and Embroidered Leaves by Hillary Fayle

January 22, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Artist Hillary Fayle (previously here and here) slices and stitches patterns into found leaves, producing elegant designs that strike a delicate balance between natural specimens and the human hand. The works range from minimal tweaks to individual leaves to more involved patterns that link several in one embroidery. Fayle hopes each piece is an encouragement to look at nature a little closer and consider the potential for harmony in objects often overlooked.

“I want to salvage and revive our connection to the natural world,” explains Fayle in an artist statement on her website.  “…Both tender and ruthless, this intricate and sensitive work implies that our relationship to nature is both tenuously fragile and infinitely complex.”

You can see more of Fayle’s leaf embroidery, as well as some new experiments with snake scales, on her Instagram and website.




Towering Hyperrealistic Cactus Paintings by Lee Kwang-ho

December 1, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Cactus No.95, 2015. Oil on canvas. Courtesy Johyun Gallery.

Korean painter Kwang-ho Lee (previously) depicts larger-than-life cacti in oil paintings that stand up to 8-feet tall. Every thorn, bloom, and branch is painted with excruciating accuracy, bringing the most minute elements into hyperrealistic focus. Lee studied painting at Seoul National University and is represented by Johyun Gallery.

Untitled 1266, 2017. Oil on canvas. Courtesy Johyun Gallery.

Untitled 6202, 2016. Oil on canvas. Courtesy Johyun Gallery.

Untitled 1212, 2017. Oil on canvas. Courtesy Johyun Gallery.

Cactus No. 93, 2015. Oil on canvas. Courtesy Johyun Gallery.

Cactus No. 91, 2015. Oil on canvas. Courtesy Johyun Gallery.

Cactus No. 92, 2015. Oil on canvas. Courtesy Johyun Gallery.

Cactus No. 98, 2015. Oil on canvas. Courtesy Johyun Gallery.

Cactus No. 71, 2011. Oil on canvas. Courtesy Johyun Gallery.

Cactus No. 96, 2015. Oil on canvas. Courtesy Johyun Gallery.