Photography

The View From Down Under: “Under-Cats” Celebrates Cats at a New Angle

March 20, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Felines at the International Cat Show in Kaunas, Lithuania were already ready for their closeup, but they might not have been expecting these glass-bottomed glamour shots. Photographer Andrius Burba began the shooting at this unique angle in 2015 with cats on a black background. In the intervening years he has documented dogs, rabbits, bicycles, and even horses. The most recent iteration swaps out the black backdrops for bright colors. Burba explains to Colossal that he places each subject on a glass surface (though we’d hazard a guess the horses stood on a sturdier material) and shoots from below, with the backdrop placed above the animal. The resulting photographs show the unique fur, eyes, and personalities of each cat, as they strike poses that convey curiosity, boredom, or annoyance. You can see the full collection from Under-Cats on the Underlook website. Underlook also shares updates on Instagram and Facebook, and offers merch in their online store. (via Design You Trust)

 

 

 



Design

Europe’s First Underwater Restaurant Doubles as a Marine Research Center

March 20, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

At Under, a new restaurant completed by architecture and design firm Snøhetta (previously), splashes of aquamarine light dance across tabletops and dishes. This greenish blue hue is emitted from a portal at the front of the space that, as its name suggests, peers underwater and into the depths of the North Sea. The half-sunken restaurant is located at the southernmost tip of Norway, with one side of the structure built into the coastline, and the other resting against the seabed.

Snøhetta Founder and Architect, Kjetil Trædal Thorsen explains that the new building “challenges what determines a person’s physical placement in their environment.” In this building,” he continues, “you may find yourself under water, over the seabed, between land and sea. This will offer you new perspectives and ways of seeing the world, both beyond and beneath the waterline.”

In addition to serving as a restaurant, the submerged building also functions as a marine research center. Interdisciplinary research teams will be invited to study the surrounding the biodiversity found along the southern coast, with the goal of building a machine learning tool that will monitor and track the species at regular intervals. Under’s design was also planned with these populations in mind. The building was built to function as an artificial coral reef, and will become integrated into the sea as limpets, kelp, and other underwater life begin to grow from its concrete shell.

The underwater restaurant opens for its first service today, and will seat 35-40 guests nightly. You can see more images from the new restaurant and learn about its menu on their website. (via Dezeen)

 

 



Art

Domesticated Root Systems by Diana Scherer Form Twisting and Repetitive Patterns in Patches of Earth

March 19, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Amsterdam-based artist Diana Scherer investigates the desire for humans to control nature through her series Exercises in Root System Domestication. The project combines design, craft, and science to manipulate plants’ subterranean systems into forming mesmerizing interlocking patterns that are unlike what is found organically. To “train” the roots to grow in such complex patterns, Scherer develops underground geometric templates that the roots grow along and merge with as they grow.

This intelligent behavior of plants below ground, away from humanity’s watchful eye, is another inspiration for Scherer’s work. “Darwin discovered that plants are a lot more intelligent than everybody thought,” she explains on her website. “For contemporary botanists, this buried matter is still a wondrous land. There is a global investigation to discover this hidden world. I also want to explore it and apply the ‘intelligence’ of plants in my work.” You can view more of her root explorations on her website and on Facebook.

 

 



Art

Monochrome Monsters Squeeze into a Former Factory in a New Monumental Exhibition by Phlegm

March 19, 2019

Sasha Bogojev

Photo by Chris Saunders

Photo by Chris Saunders

The historic building of Taylor’s Eye Witness Works in Sheffield, England is currently hosting Mausoleum of the Giants, the newest sculptural installation by Phlegm (previously). The exhibition features a number of large-scale sculptures of the surreal pseudo-mythological characters he’s included in his murals worldwide. Placed inside the spacious interior of a former kitchen and pocket knife factory, these friendly giants welcome visitors to walk between and examine their appearance from every angle.

The largest piece of the show waits for the viewer just beyond the first door. This massive creature lies on the ground in an almost fetus-like position, with large arms and hands clenched as he stares through the space with wide open eyes. Visitors must walk around the monumental body to discover the rest of the exhibition and peek at what other giants rest beyond the first room.

The works are created on skeletons made of wood and wire, with papier-mâché finishing. Phlegm then paints on them in an illustrative style based on intricate patterns and using a shading effect. This technique makes them seem flat when photographed against the architectural elements of the building, yet in person, they seem bigger, heavier, and bolder. By producing the creates at a scale that barely fits inside the space, they imitate how the artist regularly uses every inch of a wall to paint his captivating murals.

Mausoleum of the Giants will be open to the public through April 6, 2019. Phlegm plans to continue his experimentations with scale by putting together a show with miniature etchings he’s been working on in the last couple of years, in addition to releasing a book of etchings. You can follow his worldwide murals and sculptures on Instagram.

Photo by Ian Cox

Photo by Ian Cox

Photo by Ian Cox

Photo by Ian Cox

Photo by Ian Cox

Photo by Ian Cox

Photo by Ian Cox

Photo by Ian Cox

Photo by Ian Cox

Photo by Ian Cox

Photo by Ian Cox

Photo by Ian Cox

Photo by Ian Cox

Photo by Ian Cox

Photo by Ian Cox

Photo by Ian Cox

 

 



Design Illustration

Swirling Three-Dimensional Script by Designer Alia Bright

March 18, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

All images provided by Alia Bright

All images provided by Alia Bright

Portland-based designer Alia Bright creates interlocking text with bright gradient patterns that combine her background in illustration, fine art, and graphic design. The looping letters are formed from paper and glue, and are created with several different weights and stocks to add a visual texture to the graphic presentation. For Bright, the trick to a successful work is finding the sweet spot where the three-dimensional aspect of the paper highlights the lettering, and vice versa. “I feel a piece is successful when I achieve this, which requires a lot of restraint,” she explains to Colossal. I try to maintain the right level of stylistic simplicity while still creating visual interest through color, pattern, and shadows.” You can see more of Bright’s paper text on her website and Instagram.

 

 



Animation Art

A Geometric Light Projection by Joanie Lemercier Invites Viewers to Take a Trip Through the Stars

March 18, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Constellations is a light-based audio-visual installation by Joanie Lemercier that explores the great expanse of our universe through the presentation of morphing geometric shapes and bright glowing orbs. The three-dimensional light work is projected onto water, which gives it a rippling, holographic effect, further intensified by an electronic soundscape produced by Paul Jebanasam. “It’s an exploration of the stars, constellations and the vastness of the cosmos, suggesting the beauty of geometry, simple and complex structures of the universe,” explains Lemercier. The project was first shown in Bristol, UK in March 2018 at Layered Realities in Millennium Square, and is produced by Juliette Bibasse. You can see a full preview of the Constellations in the video below, and follow the tour schedule on Instagram and Twitter.

 

 



Art Illustration

Ceramic Dishes Drawn as Rippling Pools of Culture by Brendan Lee Satish Tang

March 17, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Untitled (Spode) 2012

For his “Swimmers” print series, artist Brendan Lee Satish Tang transformed traditional blue and white ceramic dishware patterns into a symbol for culture: the complex, learned, and shared pool that surrounds us all. Each intricately drawn work features two swimmers (parental figures and children, siblings, and peers) who are seemingly unaffected as they attempt to navigate the rippling waters together.

“Untitled (Ming 1)” 2012

Born in Ireland to Trinidadian parents, Tang received a formal art education in the United States and in Canada, where he is a naturalized citizen. He has lectured at conferences and academic institutions across North America, and his work has been exhibited and collected at museums and galleries across both nations. Currently based in Vancouver, Tang works primarily in clay to explore themes of tradition and culture with a particular interest in cultural appropriation and hybridity, which he says reflects his own “ambiguous cultural identity.”

The crosshatching and subdued blue tone give Tang’s drawings a sketch-like quality, while the morphing of the ceramic waves show a deeper level of planning and precision. A play on the idiom “a fish out of water,” Tang writes on his website that “we are the fish,” adding that humankind is “always finding our way through our greater culture.” Brendan Lee Satish Tang is represented by Gallery Jones in Vancouver and Elizabeth Leach Gallery in Portland. Check out his website to see where he will be showing next, and follow him on Instagram for closer looks at his latest work.

“Untitled (Delftse Pauw)” 2012

“Untitled (Ming 2)” 2012

“Untitled (Royal Delft)” 2012