Tag Archives: wood

Flight of the Baji: A Pod of Suspended Driftwood Dolphin Skeletons Flies through the Baltimore Museum of Art 

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This immersive site-specific installation by artist Jonathan Latiano (previously) depicts the fate of China’s famous Baji dolphins rendered in driftwood flying through a gallery at the Baltimore Museum of Art. To create the immersive installation Latiano collected bleached and mangled wood from local rivers which he used to form a procession of skeletons. The bony structures materialize from a stack of logs in one corner before gradually dissolving back into component pieces in the other.

Freshwater Baji dolphins (dubbed the “Goddess of the Yangtze”) were once a thriving part of the Yangtze River ecosystem in China, but are now largely assumed to be extinct. The last known member of the species died in captivity back in 2002.

Latiano shares about his work via his artist statement:

The pieces that I create contrast abstracted human intuition with the reality of our natural environment. I strive to emphasize the areas that exist in‐between the boundaries of defined regions. My work, in many ways, is my own personal attempt to understand my place in the physical universe. I find the poeticism and concepts of the natural universe simultaneously fascinating, beautiful and unsettling. Many of the areas and theories of science that appeal to me, particularly ones that deal with vast expanses of space and time, are so complex that the only way I can truly wrap my head around them is to abstract them. It is through my artwork that I interpret, contemplate and fine-tune these scientific theories and notions on both a universal and personal level.

Flight of the Baji was on view last year at the Baltimore Museum of Art, a culmination of Latiano winning the 2013 Baker Artist Award. You can also catch an interview with him over on I Lobo You.

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These self-propelled kinetic wood sculptures by David C. Roy can spin for nearly a day 

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Since graduating in 1974 from Boston University with a degree in physics, artist David C. Roy has been fascinated by the motion and mechanics of kinetic sculptures. Roy is a self-taught woodworker who designs limited edition wall-mounted sculptures powered by various mechanical wind-up mechanisms without the aid of electricity. Each piece can run for about 5-18 hours unassisted on a single wind, with his latest piece Dimensions capable of whirling around for a whopping 40+ hours. From his Connecticut studio Roy has produced over 150 one-of-a-kind designs over the last thirty years, many of which he currently sells as editions through his website. He’s also gone to great lengths to film many of his sculptures which you can watch on his Youtube channel. (via Booooooom)

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This Giant Abandoned Soviet Spaceship Made of Wood Looks Like the Ultimate Children’s Playground Feature 

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While exploring an abandoned corner of the Zhukovsky airfield (Ramenskoye Airport) in Moscow two years ago, aviation photographer Aleksander Markin stumbled onto a forgotten relic of Russia’s Buran Space Program. This decaying wooden spacecraft was used as a wind tunnel model in the 1980s for the VKK Space Orbiter, the largest and most expensive Soviet space exploration program conceived as a response to the United States’ Space Shuttle. Despite its scientific purposes the wooden ship has the appearance of a fantastic children’s playground feature.

According to Urban Ghosts, this 1:3 scale replica was just one of 85 wind tunnel models used to test various aerodynamic properties of the orbiter. The testing would eventually reveal that NASA’s prototype for the Enterprise was ideal for spaceflight and the VKK Space Orbiter would take a similar design as a result.

Despite the ambitious size and scale of the Buran Space Program, the final craft would fly only a single unmanned mission in 1988 before being scrapped completely in 1993 due to lack of funding and political instability (and yet only modern Russia retains the ability to send people to the ISS today). Markin mentions in comments along with his photographs that this particular wind tunnel model has since been destroyed and no longer exists. (via Urban Ghosts)

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Trompe L’Oeil Ceramics That Imitate the Natural Appearance of Decaying Wood 

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Going Hand In Hand, 8.5″ x 26″ x 15.5″, 2015, (Ceramic, acrylic)

Ceramicist Christopher David White (previously) accurately captures the decay of wood through ceramics, portraying the distinct character of the natural material from the fine wood grain to the light ash coloration at the pieces’ edges. By utilizing a trompe l’oeil technique, White forces the viewer to take a closer look at his work while also investigating the truth hidden in the hyperrealistic sculptures.

Through his ceramic pieces White explores the reality of impermanence, often combining man and nature through treelike limbs and faces. “I seek to expose the beauty that often results from decay while, at the same time, making my viewer question their own perception of the world around them,” explains White. He hopes to highlight the fact that we are not separate from nature, but rather intrinsically connected to it.

White has a BFA in Ceramics from Indiana University and MFA in Craft and Material Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University. White’s work will be included in the exhibition Hyper-realism at the Daejeon Museum of Art in South Korea opening this fall. (via Artist a Day)

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Going Hand In Hand, 8.5″ x 26″ x 15.5″, 2015, (Ceramic, acrylic)

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Going Hand In Hand, 8.5″ x 26″ x 15.5″, 2015, (Ceramic, acrylic)

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A Walk That Is Measured And Slow, 14″ x 14″ 29″, 2015, (Ceramic, acrylic, drywall, iron oxide)

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A Walk That Is Measured And Slow, 14″ x 14″ 29″, 2015, (Ceramic, acrylic, drywall, iron oxide)

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A Walk That Is Measured And Slow, 14″ x 14″ 29″, 2015, (Ceramic, acrylic, drywall, iron oxide)

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Asphyxia, 2013, H: 11″ W: 9″ D: 11″, (Ceramic, acrylic)

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Asphyxia, 2013, H: 11″ W: 9″ D: 11″, (Ceramic, acrylic)

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Asphyxia, 2013, H: 11″ W: 9″ D: 11″, (Ceramic, acrylic)

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A Monumental Scaffolding of Poplar Wood at Rice Gallery by Ben Butler 

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Ben Butler (previously) is fascinated by the complex structures that emerge from simple and delicate processes. This phenomenon can be found in the elaborate systems produced by ant colonies to human cities, small quotidian actions accumulating into overpowering structures. Unbounded, Butler’s installation on display at Rice University Gallery in Houston, Texas, uses this same idea by assembling over 10,000 pieces of poplar wood into a matrix-like structure. This massive arrangement coalesces into an unexpectedly mesmerizing array of grids that stretch to fill the gallery space.

Butler approached this installation, as he commonly does within his practice, without initial sketches or ideas of what he would like the structure to look like. He played with the materials, discovering configurations on the spot. Although the grids within Unbounded were pre-made in his studio, the way they were configured and connected horizontally was all in response to the space. This way of acting in the present ensured that the structure’s outcome would be organic, and not purely responding to a preconceived shape.

Poplar wood was chosen for the installation because of its malleability and abundance, which gave Butler the ability to fiddle with a material that seemed endless. This idea of endlessness also tied into the title he chose for the piece. Butler wanted the piece to have no defined boundary or vantage point, but encourage the audience to walk around and within the structure, discovering it from all angles.

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Butler received an MFA in sculpture from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2003. He currently lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee and Quogue, New York and has an upcoming exhibition of his sculptures and drawings at The University of Mississippi Museum, Oxford opening in September 2015.

Unbounded will remain on display at Rice University Art Gallery in Houston, Texas until August 28, 2015. (via designboom)

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Repurposed Wood Doors and Furniture Transformed into Geometric Faces on the Streets of Belgium 

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Over the last year, Belgian painter and sculpturor Stefaan De Croock aka Strook (previously) began working with repurposed wood panels, doors, and furniture to construct giant faces on the side of buildings. The recycled wood surfaces are cut into precise geometric shapes and pieced together like a tangram puzzle, leaving the original paint and textures untouched. His most recent piece, Elsewhere, was a collaboration with his 69-year-old dad for Mechelen Muurt. You can see more of Strook’s paintings, sculptures, and other artworks on his website. (via Colossal Submissions)

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