The Whirling Dervish was a willow sculpture by artist Trevor Leat that was installed in 2012 at Shambellie House, in New Abbey, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. Leat is known for his work with willow trees which he grows organically for use in furniture, baskets, and sculptures. Unfortunately, Shambellie House, which housed the National Museum of Costume, closed in 2013, so this piece may no longer be viewable. (via Colossal Submissions)
Nestled in Northeast India next to the Brahmaputra River sits Majuli Island, a giant sandbar that happens to be the largest river island on Earth, home to some 150,000 people. It is also the location of the 1,360 acre Molai Forest, one of the most unusual woodlands in the world for the incredible fact that it was planted by a single man. Since 1979, forestry worker Jadav Payeng has dedicated his life to planting trees on the island, creating a forest that has surpassed the scale of New York’s Central Park.
While home to such a large population, rapidly increasing erosion over the last 100 years has reduced the land mass of Majuli Island to less than half. Spurred by the dire situation, Payeng transformed himself into a modern day Johnny Appleseed and singlehandedly planted thousands upon thousands of plants, including 300 hectares of bamboo.
Payeng’s work has been credited with significantly fortifying the island, while providing a habitat for several endangered animals which have returned to the area; a herd of nearly 100 elephants (which has now given birth to an additional ten), Bengal tigers, and a species of vulture that hasn’t been seen on the island in over 40 years. Gives you more than a little hope for the world, doesn’t it?
Filmmaker William Douglas McMaster recently wrote and directed this beautiful documentary short titled Forest Man from the perspective of Payeng’s friend, photographer Jitu Kalita. The project was funded in part last year through Kickstarter. The video is a bit longer than what we usually see here on Colossal, but completely worth your time. (via Gizmodo)
Waves of Grain is a two minute strata-cut animation by filmmaker Keith Skretch who planed a block of wood in tiny increments and took photographs along the way. The final video reveals a strange sense of motion as the camera moves effortlessly through the block revealing the the sinuous curves of wood grain that appears to ripple like water. If you liked this also check out these fruit and vegetable MRIs from Andy Ellison. (via Colossal Submissions)
Born in Hanoi, artist Phan Thu Trang paints decorative landscapes inspired by images of the city and Northern villages of Vietnam. In her colorful yet minimalistic paintings she works with limited colors and textures, focusing on only bare essentials to create each piece centered around billowing, pointillistic trees. See more of her work over at ArtBlue Studio in Singapore, and if you enjoyed these also check out Lieu Nguyen Huong Duong. (via Art of Animation)
Every year tourists flock to Japan to capture the annual blooming of cherry blossoms, an event so thoroughly documented you can find online calendars that estimate the precise moment to visit each city around the country to catch the trees in full bloom. For Tokyo the optimal time must have been this morning when photographer Noisy Paradise snapped this breathtaking shot just at dawn over the Meguro River. Photo courtesy the photographer.
I’m really enjoying this rural intervention (?) created earlier this week by Daniel Siering and Mario Shu in Potsdam, Germany. The duo wrapped a tree in plastic sheeting and then mimicked the background landscape using detailed spray paint strokes to create the illusion of a tree cut in half. It reminds me of this mirror installation by Joakim Kaminsky and Maria Poll. (via Street Art Utopia)