Art Craft

Beaded Images of Disease Explore the Impact of Colonial Trade

May 13, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

"Bubonic Plague" (2009), Beads and acrylic on suede board, 24" x 18", collection of the MacKenzie Art Gallery

“Bubonic Plague” (2009), Beads and acrylic on suede board, 24″ x 18″, collection of the MacKenzie Art Gallery

In her series Trading, Saskatchewan-based artist Ruth Cuthand creates a visual metaphor that outlines how early settler/Native relationships influenced First Nation people’s living conditions and wellbeing in Canada. The colorful works are created from beads which were traded by European settlers for furs in the Americas. Although dazzling aesthetically, the work’s content reveals images of deadly viruses passed on by settlers as a result of this trade, such as influenza, bubonic plague, measles, smallpox, typhus, cholera, and scarlet fever.

“Beads are a visual reference to colonization; valuable furs were traded for inexpensive beads,” explains Cuthand, an artist of Plains Cree and Scottish descent, in her statement about the project. “On the plains beads were a valuable trade item, they replaced the method of using porcupine quills. Preparing the quills for decorating clothing was a long process that consisted of sorting the quills, preparing vegetal dyes and flattening the quill to sew down in patterns. Obviously beads were quicker to use, covered large areas and came in a wide variety of colors.”

Trading explores the tragic impact of European disease through the lens of one import. You can see all of the works in the series, and learn more about Cuthand’s practice, by visiting her website. The artist will also be a part of Beading Now!, a group exhibition at La Guilde in Montreal, Canada, which runs from May 16 to July 21, 2019.

"Influenza" (2009), Beads and acrylic on suede board, 24" x 18", collection of the Saskatchewan Arts Board

“Influenza” (2009), Beads and acrylic on suede board, 24″ x 18″, collection of the Saskatchewan Arts Board

"Measles" (2009), Beads and acrylic on suede board, 24" x 18", collection of the MacKenzie Art Gallery

“Measles” (2009), Beads and acrylic on suede board, 24″ x 18″, collection of the MacKenzie Art Gallery

"Bubonic Plague" (2009), Beads and acrylic on suede board, 24" x 18", collection of Wally Dion

“Bubonic Plague” (2009), Beads and acrylic on suede board, 24″ x 18″, collection of Wally Dion

"Smallpox" (2009), Beads and acrylic on suede board, 24" x 18", collection of the MacKenzie Art Gallery

“Smallpox” (2009), Beads and acrylic on suede board, 24″ x 18″, collection of the MacKenzie Art Gallery

"Typhoid Fever" (2009), Beads and acrylic on suede board, 24" x 18", collection of the MacKenzie Art Gallery

“Typhoid Fever” (2009), Beads and acrylic on suede board, 24″ x 18″, collection of the MacKenzie Art Gallery

"Whooping Cough" (2009), Beads and acrylic on suede board, 24" x 18", collection of the MacKenzie Art Gallery

“Whooping Cough” (2009), Beads and acrylic on suede board, 24″ x 18″, collection of the MacKenzie Art Gallery

"Yellow Fever" (2009), Beads and acrylic on suede board, 24" x 18", collection of the Mendel Art Gallery

“Yellow Fever” (2009), Beads and acrylic on suede board, 24″ x 18″, collection of the Mendel Art Gallery

 

 



Art

An Endlessly Looping Path of Water Rushes Over Gallery Walls and Floors

May 13, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

In Lupanar, an installation by French artist Nicolas Tourte, water flows on a never-ending path over the floor, walls, and ceiling of an art gallery. Displayed in a darkened room, the slithering 130-foot route shows a continuous video loop, which includes the rushing sound of the white-capped waves as they surge across the room. A statement about Lupanar on the artist’s website explains that the installation is meant to provoke thoughts about time and its persistent push through our individual and collective human experience.

The piece was originally shown in 2015 as part of the festival Interstice #10 in Caen, France, and was most recently exhibited at Base Sous-Marine, a former submarine base built during World War II, in Bordeaux. You can see more work from Tourte on his website and Instagram. (via Trendland)

 

 

 



Art

Human Anatomy Baked Into Polymer Desserts by QimmyShimmy

May 12, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Singapore-based mixed media artist QimmyShimmy uses polymer clay to craft baby figures and sugary treats that blend fantasy and reality in interesting and often disturbing ways. From tiny anatomical heart pies to baby head lollipops, the surreal sculptures are a trick and a treat wrapped in one confusing but attractive package.

Formally trained in graphic design, QimmyShimmy tells Colossal that sculpting was a self-taught skill inspired by the desire to do something different. “It is a mix of wanting to do something really whacky apart from my design work, and also a little voice in my head that just wants to make strange, surprising things.” The oven-baked clay is formed and painted by hand and sometimes placed on common dessert settings, which makes the stark contrast of the imagery more apparent.

While the work has been called pop-surrealist and even creepy, QimmyShimmy says that was never the intention. “My works have always been about finding the balance between sweetness and horror, and trying to find a way a viewer can look at them and feel repulsed yet enticed. That is the reason why I work often with subjects that we desire—desserts, pastries, etc. I grew up quite an oddball with an overly imaginative mind, and wonder if things are more than what we think they are. With my work I try to push our preconceived ideas and associations with objects, which dark humor seem quite effective in doing so.”

To see more of the artist’s unsettling creations, follow QimmyShimmy on Instagram.

 

 



Art

Radiant Flowers Overlook Lyon, France in New Mural by INTI

May 11, 2019

Andrew LaSane

For the Peinture Fraiche Festival, Chilean street artist INTI recently painted a large-scale mural on a building in Lyon, France. Titled “SOLEIL” (Blinded by the Light), the piece features a sun-shaped bouquet of flowers framing, obstructing, and fusing with the face of a cosmic figure that stands several stories tall.

The wall art uses INTI’s signature violet and orange-gold hues to draw the eye to the top of the building. Varied shades of orange give the flowers depth as they become the figure’s face and shirt. The purple of her neck provides a glimpse of space littered with plastics and other objects, and a closer look past the scissors and down the streaking grey tones of the arms reveals a bird clutched in one of the hands of the mysterious giant.

Click here for a film of the painting process shot by ChopEmDown Films, and follow INTI on Instagram for more behind-the-scenes and completed wall views.

 

 



Art

Imaginative Botanical Ceramics Invent New Fruits and Flowers

May 10, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Ceramic artist Kaori Kurihara’s textured ceramics reference familiar botanicals like durian, cauliflower, and bananas, while maintaining an otherworldly element of surprise. The artist adds organic details like articulated fronds and streaked or dimpled skin by hand, while working in part from her imagination. In a statement  she shares, “I take inspiration from the plant world with particular attention to forms and their geometric repetition. Every element of nature seems to repeat itself, but in fact there is an infinite variety of it. I have the deep desire to make concrete the fruits represented in my mind and to be able to contemplate them through my own eyes.”

Kurihara learned the art of pottery in her native Japan, at SEIKA University in Kyoto. She has further refined her craft as a resident of France, where she has studied jewelry-making, which includes techniques like enameling that the artist now uses in her sculptures.

The artist has exhibited widely and will be showing her work at the International Fine Art and Craft Biennial in Paris from May 23-26, 2019, as well as at the Bernardaud Foundation in June, 2019. Take a peek inside her studio via the video below, and on Instagram and Facebook. If you enjoy Kurihara’s work, also check out William Kidd’s inventive and organically-inspired ceramics.

 

 

 



Art

Crumbling Buildings and Graffiti-Covered Walls Are Meticulously Documented in Oil Paintings by Jessica Hess

May 10, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Oakland-based painter Jessica Hess documents landscapes and built environments in moments of transition. Combining open skies and lush plant life with crumbling walls and frayed rebar, Hess finds equivalency in growth and decay. The artist, who works in oil paint, shoots photos while exploring abandoned locales, and uses these real life references to build her carefully framed worlds on canvas.

Hess graduated from Rhode Island School of Design and has been exhibiting nationally for over 15 years. Her solo show, The Chaos Aesthetic, is currently on view at Hashimoto Contemporary in San Francisco, and runs through May 25, 2019. You can keep up with Hess’s impressive exhibition schedule, which includes four additional shows this year on her website, and see more of her work on Instagram.

 

 



Design Music

The Rhysonic Wheel Bridges Programmed Percussion with Acoustic Guitar for a Captivating One-Man Ensemble

May 10, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Wellington, New Zealand-based musician Pete O’Connell has previously used his Rhysonic Wheel, a self-made instrument that combines power tools with a self-spinning wheel, to create steady, melodic strumming on his acoustic guitar. Recently he has built another iteration of the device that spins several wheels at once, producing harmony between a drum, djembe, and any other percussive or stringed instrument he chooses to place in the path of the machine’s spinning wheels.

The invention was inspired by the rhythm that would rattle from the hockey cards attached to his childhood bicycle. Thinking back on this memory gave him the initial idea to incorporate a wheel into his music, which he has been experimenting with ever since. You can see more of O’Connell’s performances with early versions of the Rhysonic Wheel on his Youtube, Vimeo, and Facebook. (via Colossal Submissions)