Design

Evoking Coral, Grass Roots Are Grown into Compostable Garments and Functional Objects

October 9, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Zena Holloway, shared with permission

Fashion is notorious for its astounding impact on the planet. Clothes are discarded within a few months in favor of the latest trend, cheap, synthetic fibers send harmful microplastics into the oceans, and waste from wealthier nations is often shipped to countries without additional resources only to pollute the local environments. As some designers try to steer the industry toward a more ethical, sustainable future, materials are often front of mind, including for Zena Holloway, who recently released a collection of garments and objects grown from grass roots.

Inspired by the sprawling, delicate shape of coral, Holloway creates soft, textured dresses, collars, lamps, and mobiles from wheatgrass seed. The plant sprouts over the course of about two weeks in beeswax molds. As it grows, it produces its intricately woven root structure, which the designer guides into specific spaces or allows to expand into large, sheet-like forms. Entirely compostable, the material is “both reality and metaphor, aiming to expose the beauty and vulnerability of coral and to champion ocean conservation,” and has the potential to be sewn into clothing or shaped into other functional goods.

The project, known as Rootfull, is ongoing, and Holloway shares a glimpse of her process in the video below. Follow her latest designs on Instagram. (via designboom)

 

 

 

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Art

Anatomical Paintings by Lily Mixe Connect Flora and Fauna Through Textured Motifs

October 7, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Curious Collection” (2022), acrylic paint on wooden box assemblage, 33 x 31.5 centimeters. All images © Lily Mixe, courtesy of Saatchi Gallery, shared with permission

In The Butterfly Effect, French artist Lily Mixe illustrates the textured patterns of beetles, shells, cells, and birds through stark black and white. Working in acrylic on found wooden boxes and furniture panels, Mixe accentuates the lush motifs of scales, branches, or feathers in renderings devoid of color. Each work juxtaposes the artist’s elegant graphic style against the worn backdrops, which reflect a past of human intervention through splattered paint, scratches, and printed text. Whether presented as symmetric tableaus as in “Dragon Flying Birds” or an anatomical assemblage of flora and fauna in “Curious Collection,” the specimens detail the similarities and interconnected nature of all earthly life.

The Butterfly Effect, which will feature an on-site mural, opens on November 3 at Saatchi Gallery in London. Until then, find more of Mixe’s works on Instagram and her site.

 

“Bird of Pray” (2022), acrylic paint on a wooden box, 40 x 27.5 centimeters

“Fauna and Flora” (2022), collage on a wooden box, 42.5 x 28.5 centimeters

“Cuckoo Bee On A Platter” (2022), acrylic paint on a wooden box, 35 x 25 centimeters

“Dragon Flying Birds” (2022), acrylic paint on a wooden box, 106 x 30 centimeters

“No Feather Left Behind” (2022), acrylic paint on a wooden box, 57 x 27.5 centimeters

 

 



Art

Bordalo II Combines Salvaged Neon Tubes, Industrial Materials, and Other Waste into Lively Trash Animals in a New Retrospective

October 7, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Bordalo II, shared with permission

A seven-meter-tall squirrel made of railway dividers, decommissioned industrial hoses, and shopping carts in disrepair opens a massive retrospective from Portuguese artist Bordalo II (previously). Spanning ten years of his career, EVILUTION reflects the environmental themes the artist has been drawn to for at least the last decade that are reflected through his signature Trash Animals, creatures comprised of entirely salvaged materials. Spray-paint cans are slotted into an abstract mosaic of a raccoon, while neon tubing illuminates a range of sculptural creatures including a fox, spider, and even a snail strapped to an electric scooter.

EVILUTION, which opens this weekend at the Edu Hub of Lisbon, exposes the incredible array of material humans discard and how such waste affects the environment and biodiversity. The show also marks Bordalo II’s first foray into neon, which he describes in a statement:

It’s unbelievable what people throw away. Many of our sculptures use obvious household trash, but we want to show that there’s a whole ecosystem of junk laying around out there that is threatening nature. That includes things like generations of broken neon tubes, which most people wouldn’t ever think about…EVILUTION is a kind of retrospective of everything I’ve been doing over the last ten years and also a way of looking towards the future.

Head to the artist’s Instagram for a preview of the exhibition, which runs from October 8 to December 11.

 

 

 



Art

Hyperrealistic Drawings by David Morrison Reflect the Fragile Ephemerality of Organic Life

October 7, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Magnolia Series No. 3,” colored pencil on paper, 20 x 20 inches. All images © David Morrison, courtesy of Garvey | Simon Gallery, New York, shared with permission

Artist David Morrison highlights the fragility and fleeting nature of life through fresh magnolia blooms or a parched maple seed pod. With underlying shadows that imply sunlight or an overhead lamp, Morrison’s drawings are deceptively realistic, appearing like three-dimensional organic matter resting atop blank sheets of paper.

Depicting burst pomegranates or an iris on the brink of opening, the colored pencil works reflect the relationship between the whole specimen and the delicate veins, stems, and fleshy material responsible for sustaining life. “I became obsessed with drawing branches and tree trunks by looking at them through magnifying glasses that allowed me to peer deeper into an astonishing world of abstract shapes and patterns. I then realized the complexity of nature and how magnificent it is,” the artist says in a statement. “Every time I start a new drawing the discovery process starts anew.”

For more of Morrison’s still lifes, visit his Instagram and Garvey | Simon Gallery, where he’s represented.

 

“Maple Seed Pods” (2022), colored pencil on paper, 23 x 30 inches

“Chinese Lantern Drawing” (2022), colored pencil on paper, 21 x 26 inches

“Pomegranate” (2021), colored pencil on paper, 18 x 28 inches

“Magnolia Blossom Series No. 1,” colored pencil on paper, 18 x 18 inches

Left: “Firewood Series No. 9” (2018), colored pencil on paper, 24.5 x 14 inches. Middle: “Iris Series No. 5” (2020), colored pencil on paper, 26 x 14 inches. Right: “Firewood Series No. 1” (2018), colored pencil on paper, 36 x 21 inches

The artist in his studio

 

 



Animation Music

A Whirlwind Timelapse Comprised Entirely of Google Street View Images Circles the Globe

October 6, 2022

Grace Ebert

From the halls of the Museu Nacional de Belas Artes in Rio de Janeiro to the Hamburg Canals and the craggy landscape of Mont Blanc, a short film by Adam Chitayat adventures around the world in a dizzying sequence. The timelapse, which is the official music video for “Out Sailing” by Alex Boman, was initially intended as an antidote to wanderlust during the COVID-19 lockdowns. Using frames captured in sequence through Google Street View, Chitayat explores a multitude of rural and urban settings both indoor and outdoor, producing a whirlwind travelogue that traverses the globe in a matter of minutes. For more from the American-Israeli director, head to Vimeo.

 

 

 



Art

Strings of Pearls Emulate Tears and Form Connections in Intimate Ceramic Sculptures by First of May Studio

October 6, 2022

Kate Mothes

“Dear” (2021), pottery and mixed media. All images © Butaoxi Kao of First of May Studio, shared with permission

For millennia, pearls have been treasured for their luminous sheen and range of hues and were first documented for their use as gemstones more than 4,000 years ago in China. Symbolic of luck, wisdom, and prosperity in cultures throughout the world, these organic orbs have given rise to myths and legends related to divine beings, often said to be fashioned from the tears of mermaids or gods. In Greek myth, it’s said that if a bride wears pearls on her wedding day, she won’t cry. Ceramic sculptures by Butaoxi Kao of First of May Studio build upon this history and express emotions and connection through strings of pearls.

Based in Taiwan, Butaoxi’s background as an illustrator and graphic designer influenced her interest in modeling with ceramic, which she began working with in 2015 following an injury that prompted a new way of thinking about her practice. In the ongoing series Tears are Pearls, she explores the universality of intense feeling and applies the iridescent droplets to express a range of emotions from sadness to frustration, pain to joy. Examining how emotions connect us to one another and to our past, the artist uses pearls in various shapes and sizes, which leak from eyes or link to other figures. Their upper bodies are often shaped into forms that resemble toys or games like jigsaw puzzles or swings.

Several new works are currently on view in a solo exhibition The Crying Game, on view at Yuri Arts in Taipei through October 15, which delves into the connection between childhood and nostalgia, evoking a connection to innocence, play, and deep-seated memories. You can find more work by First of May Studio on Instagram.

 

“Inner balance” (2021)

“Snowflake blocks” (2022)

“I am happy” (2021)

Left: “#Stickergirl” (2022). Right: “Tears Slide” (2022)

Detail of “I am happy”

“Miss” (2021)

Left: “Coral Sea (Pacific)” (2022). Right: “Fragility and tenderness” (2022)

“Tears swing” (2022)

Detail of “Dear”