Craft

Delicately Sculpted Paper Forms Verdant Houseplants and Lush Bunches of Flowers

September 22, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Mabel Low, shared with permission

After a slew of houseplant casualties, Mabel Low decided to trade in her withering blooms for a more durable option. The Singapore-based artist, who launched the studio Papersynthesis in 2020, crafts lifelike hydrangeas, sunflowers, and an array of succulents entirely from cardstock. She sculpts each form with precision, adding in the delicate veins marking a leaf or the curled edges of a petal.

An array of air plants, orchids, and lush bouquets are available for purchase in Papersynthesis’s shop, and you can follow Low’s progress on Instagram.

 

 

 



Animation

An Intimate Short Film Highlights 2020's Crises through Exquisitely Surreal Scenes

September 22, 2020

Grace Ebert

Set to subdued music, Nicolas Lichtle’s short film titled “à la fin…” is an unusually ethereal depiction of the crises climaxing in 2020. The delicate animation flows through a series of lightly-hued scenes that explore reactions to COVID-19, the wildfires raging across the planet, and the endless distractions of technology. “It’s a moment of introspection, very intimate, staged through a succession of small moments imbued with poetry, absurdity, and sometimes surrealism…” Lichtle writes.

Many of the anonymous characters’ faces are obscured by a plant, digital device, or cloth mask, and they undertake both mundane and bizarre tasks that critique contemporary life: An unassuming man runs on a treadmill while someone stands nearby to douse him with disinfectant, a figure with a bowling ball head shouts through a megaphone at upright pins, and two women happily wave at a distant earth set ablaze.

Lichtle is based in Paris and has an extensive collection of films on his site. Follow his critically-minded projects on Vimeo. (via swissmiss)

 

 

 



Craft

Textured Embroideries Capture the Thick Patchwork of Scenic Farmland and Forests

September 22, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Victoria Rose Richards, shared with permisison

Based in South West Devon, Victoria Rose Richards (previously) accentuates the textures and patterns of landscapes through her aerial embroideries. She depicts sprawling forests with tufts of French knots and employs satin and seed stitches to form the tight, straight rows of farmland. Richards tells Colossal that in recent months, she’s added minuscule details, “like gates, sheep, birds, and people to the whole piece to build more story,” in addition to more fantastical elements, like multicolored fields. Both her aerial works and those capturing an autumnal path or rain-soaked beach reflect a greater focus on the depth of the landscape, too, as they reveal the peaks of hills and distant horizons.

To keep up with Richards’s fiber-based scenes and get updates on which pieces are available for purchase, follow her on Instagram.

 

 

 



Photography

A New Volume Compiles Five Decades of the Pudgy, Curious, and Drowsy Pups in Walter Chandoha's Photographs

September 21, 2020

Grace Ebert

Mixed-breed and the photographer’s daughter Maria, Long Island, New York, 1956. All images © Estate of Walter Chandoha, courtesy of Taschen, shared with permission

Dubbed the 20th century’s greatest pet photographer, the late Walter Chandoha was renowned for capturing the unique personalities of furry companions. From black-and-white candid shots to those posed in the studio, Taschen’s new volume, Dogs, compiles five decades worth of capricious, curious, and playful pups. The 296-page book is a sequel to Cats, which similarly collected hundreds of the iconic photographer’s images, and is edited by Reuel Golden.

In his early years, Chandoha served as a combat photographer during World War II. He went on to be prolific across mediums, having written dozens of books and captured more than 225,000 images during his lifetime, many of which were used in magazines and advertisements.

Check out some of our favorite shots of pudgy bulldogs and blue-eyed Weimaraners below, and pre-order a copy of Dogs, which will be released in October, from Taschen or Bookshop.

 

Pugs, Long Island, New York, 1957

Weimaraner, Long Island, New York, 1955

 

 



Animation

The Attention Economy: An Animation Visualizes the Endless Onslaught of Digital Distractions

September 21, 2020

Grace Ebert

If you’ve scrolled through Twitter while reading Jenny Odell’s How to Do Nothing or Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism, you understand the wide-reaching grip technology has on our attention. A new project by London-based animator Olga Makarchuk visualizes the daily abundance of digital distractions, from texts to social media pings to neverending email. Through quirky illustrations that are constantly in motion, “The Attention Economy” captures the modern desire to scroll endlessly and grab a device when there’s a moment of downtime. It’s based on research from James Williams, a former Google employee, who’s critical of the ways companies capitalize on distraction and have turned attention into a commodity.

Makarchuk has worked with a variety of media organizations and brands to tell a diverse array of stories ranging from the effects of anthropocentrism to the life of an Olympian. To watch more of her work, head to Vimeo and Instagram.

 

 

 



Design Science

A Compostable Coffin Designed by Bob Hendrikx Grows from Mushroom Mycelium

September 21, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Bob Hendrikx

While traditional wood and velvet-lined caskets can take more than a decade to decompose in the earth, a new design by Bob Hendrikx is an environmentally friendly alternative that replenishes the soil. Breaking down in just two to three years, “The Living Cocoon” is composed entirely of mycelium, the thread-like part of the fungi that branches out underground to provide food to the rest of the organism. The decomposed coffins actually contribute to the soil health by neutralizing toxic substances and providing nutrition. Mycelium is “constantly looking for waste materials to convert into nutrients for the environment…For example, mycelium was used in Chernobyl, is utilized in Rotterdam to clean up soil, and some farmers also apply it to make the land healthy again,” Hendrikx says.

Generated without light, heat, or any sort of active energy source, the coffins are grown in one week by mixing a strain of mycelium and a substrate together and placing the combination in a mold. The fungi then absorbs the other substance and forms the box-like shape. Research by two funeral cooperatives, CUVO and De Laatste Eer, already shows that “The Living Cocoon” decomposes in soil within 30 to 45 days, and the design was used in a burial in recent weeks. “We are currently living in nature’s graveyard. Our behaviour is not only parasitic, it’s also short-sighted. We are degrading organisms into dead, polluting materials, but what if we kept them alive?” Hendrikx says.

A researcher at Delft University of Technology, Hendrikx designed a similar living pod last year for Dutch Design Week, which spurred the idea to create another vessel from mycelium. He’s working currently to implement light-emitting spores, which could serve as an above-ground marker of where a body is buried. To follow Hendrikx’s environmentally conscious designs, head to Instagram and YouTube. You also might enjoy this living pavilion made of agricultural waste and sprawling mushrooms. (via Dezeen)