Our Changing Seas III is the third piece in a series of large-scale ceramic coral reef sculptures by artist Courtney Mattison. The sprawling installation is entirely hand-built and is meant to show the devastating transition coral reefs endure when faced with climate change, a process called bleaching. She shares via email:
At its heart, this piece celebrates my favorite aesthetic aspects of a healthy coral reef surrounded by the sterile white skeletons of bleached corals swirling like the rotating winds of a cyclone. There is still time for corals to recover even from the point of bleaching if we act quickly to decrease the threats we impose. Perhaps if my work can influence viewers to appreciate the fragile beauty of our endangered coral reef ecosystems, we will act more wholeheartedly to help them recover and even thrive.
Livio Scarpella is a contemporary Italian sculptor whose work harkens back to the incredible craftsmanship of marble sculptors from the 1700s. His series “Ghost Underground,” which depicts ghostly souls, both peaceful and in anguish, are influenced by the famous veiled sculptures that rest in the Cappella Sansevero, a chapel in the historic center of Naples, Italy. Opposite destinies (the “blessed” and “damned”) are signified through either a light quartz or dark amethyst rock placed near the heart of the sculpture. The crystals also serve an interesting contrast between the softly veiled faces, reminding us that, indeed, both are stone-hard. (via beautifuldecay)
Starting with layers of Finnish birch plywood artist Ron Isaacs builds elaborately designed constructions onto which he paints, in a trompe l’oeil fashion, the delicate details of leaves sprouting from clothing or the textured surface of twigs and bark. Each piece merges three recurring subjects found in most of his works: vintage clothing, plant materials, and found objects. Isaacs shares via his artist statement:
My three primary recurring subjects are vintage clothing (for the way it continues the life of the past into the present, for its rich structures and colors and shapes, and for its anthropomorphic presence as a stand-in for the figure); plant materials in the form of sticks, leaves, and flowers (for too many reasons to list); and found objects. They combine in appropriate or surprising juxtapositions, sometimes purely as a visual “poem” of sorts and (if I’m lucky) sometimes as an image with real psychological resonance. Objects occasionally reappear in other contexts and take on new meanings, like a repertory company of actors playing different roles in different plays.
The Sydney, Australia-based artist Gunjan Aylawadi creates intricate, colorful sculptures that appear to resemble woven textiles. However, upon closer observation, her work—inspired by patterns and motifs in Islamic art—are made entirely from curled paper. The process, long and intricate, can cost the artist months on a single artwork. And not just any old paper will do. For example, “Against the Wind” is made from hand-cut strips of paper from old music books, which are then individually hand rolled and assembled. Although complicated, Aylawadi’s reasons for making art are simple: “What I enjoy most about making my work is the experience people have when they look at it,” she says. “They stop for a moment to have a closer look and the moment turns into long minutes of being fascinated by the beauty a simple medium like paper can add to the work infront of their eyes.” (via Lustik)
Although major construction on Andy Scott’s imposing ‘Kelpies’ sculptures near Falkirk, Scotland ended last November, this new timelapse from the Helix captures the enormity of the project in vivid detail. The gargantuan horse head sculptures completely dominate an otherwise flat landscape over the Forth & Clyde canal and promise to be a major attraction when they open to the public on April 21. The construction part takes up the first half of the video, you can jump to around 3:00 if you want to see pretty shots of the completed pieces. (via MeFi)
Toronto-based artist Jess Riva Cooper created this haunting collection of ceramic busts called her Viral Series as part of an artist residency last fall at The Kohler Factory in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. The pieces seem to lie at the peculiar intersection of life and death, as it should be given her inspiration behind the sculptures. Cooper shares about the Viral Series via email:
In my art practice I integrate colour, drawing, and clay to create installation-based artwork. I investigate fallen economic and environmental climates in regions such as Detroit, Michigan, where houses have become feral, disappearing behind ivy, trees and Kudzu vines that were planted generations ago. In my sculptures, the world sprouts plant matter. Colour and form burst forth from quiet gardens and bring chaos to ordered spaces. Nature reclaims its place by creeping over structures. Wild floral growth subverts past states, creating the preternatural from this transformation.
Using models and materials originally built for the backdrop of model train sets, artist Thomas Doyle (previously) creates miniature dioramas with huge implications. Quaint scenes from suburbia are smashed into smithereens, characters are caught mid-homicide, and the front lines of military conflicts weave through mountains of consumer detritus. Cool Hunting recently sat down with the New York-based artist to learn more about the narratives behind his work, the interpretation of which he leaves entirely up to the viewer.