Photography

Interview: Photographer Jem Cresswell Speaks to the Intimacy and Humility of Documenting Humpback Whales

January 11, 2021

Anna Marks

All images © Jem Cresswell, shared with permission

For years, Sydney-based photographer Jem Cresswell (previously) has been diving into the ocean to document the otherwise unseen lives of humpback whales, a humbling experience he recounts in the latest interview supported by Colossal Members. He discusses what drew him to the mammalian subject matter and how collaborating with them during a long period has offered insight into their complex natures.

There is very little you can control underwater—you are at the mercy of the elements—and of the wildlife. You can’t force a natural interaction with a wild animal, which makes it all the more rewarding when everything comes together.

In this conversation, contributor Anna Marks speaks with Cresswell about the pressures of working underwater, capturing the unique personalities of individual animals, and building relationships between species.

 

 

 



Art

Photorealistic Figures Embody Childhood Wonder in Dreamy Murals by Lula Goce

January 11, 2021

Grace Ebert

Bronx, New York City. All images © Lula Goce, shared with permission

From New York City to Azerbaijan to Kristianstad, Sweden, artist Lula Goce transforms blank walls into ethereal artworks that illustrate childlike wonder and growth. Her murals merge photorealistic renderings of adolescent subjects with otherworldly surroundings: plumes of flowers and vines wind around the figures, serpentine creatures emerge from the plants, and shrunken landscapes rest in the children’s hands. Serene and dreamy, the works often center on children painted in subtle tones who peer into the distance or are deep in sleep.

Based in Vigo, Spain, Goce sells prints of her large- and small-scale works in her shop, and you can follow where she’s headed next on Instagram.

 

Kristianstad, Sweden

Belorado, Spain

Murcia, Spain

Vigo, Spain

Västervik, Sweden

Vilanova i la Geltrú, Spain

Panxon, Nigrán, Spain

 

 



Craft

Whimsical Gardens Grow From Silk Teacups and Mossy Patches in Rosa Andreeva's Embroideries

January 11, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Rosa Andreeva, shared with permission

Moscow-based fiber artist Rosa Andreeva crafts quaint gardens complete with tufts of moss, floating pollen, and cracked teacups made of silk. Teeming with whimsy, the dense embroideries balance tight stitches with loose ends that form the three-dimensional thistle heads, violet pansies, and various florals. To create the fairytale scenes, Andreeva first sketches the flora and fauna onto her fabric and then layers the textured details in thread and beads. As works are complete, she sometimes makes them available for purchase on Instagram. (via Lustik)

 

 

 



Art

A Pulsating Light Room of Multi-Layered Glass by Claudia Bueno to Premiere at Meow Wolf Las Vegas

January 8, 2021

Grace Ebert

Step into Claudia Bueno’s aquarium-style installation at Meow Wolf’s new space in Las Vegas and experience the slow, oscillating movements of natural life. “Pulse” is comprised of countless white line drawings that are meticulously intertwined and superimposed on 60 glass panels. When illuminated, they mimic scores of nautilus spirals, coral, vines, and botanics that sway and throb in glowing masses.

“This is what ‘Pulse’ is, a way of creating animated volumes using layers of drawings that build up. I have been refining this technique for the last six years, understanding how these forms can also have a moving quality when the light system is applied,” the Venezuela-born artist says, noting that the idea for the project grew out of a visit to Yellowstone National Park.

 

During the course of eight months, a team of women painstakingly painted the glass panels at Bueno’s Idaho studio. “The repetitive/meditative quality of the work lent itself to provide a very special healing space for us as we drew fine lines for hours and openly shared and supported each other,” she says. No matter the scale of the project, Bueno begins with a single dot that she duplicates, expands into lines, and eventually into intricately developed patterns, which she explains:

It seems like it doesn’t matter what size, materials, and tools I am working with, the same kinds of patterns manage to manifest themselves over and over, building on each other, gaining both complexity and simplicity at the same time… It has been an interesting brain challenge to visualize a stack of 2D drawings that then become 3D and move. It’s my own version of a non-digital, hand-drawn time-lapse or animation.

Although much of the installation’s work is complete, Bueno shares that she’s creating smaller sculptures, jewelry, and other works to coincide with the larger project. “Pulse” is set to premiere at Meow Wolf’s satirical sendup of consumerism, Omega Mart, which the Santa Fe-based arts group (previously) will soon open within Area 15 in Las Vegas. Until then, watch the video above by Adolfo Bueno and find more of Bueno’s light-based works on her site and Instagram. Video by Adolfo Bueno.

 

 

 



Photography

A Massive Octopus and Floating Fish Comprise the Imaginary Universe in Ted Chin's Surreal Composites

January 8, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Ted Chin, shared with permission

In Ted Chin’s surreal dreamland, it’s not uncommon to see massive anglerfish swimming through the sky or a figure scooping up shooting stars. The San Francisco-based artist merges idyllic landscapes and outdoor scenes with fantastical details, choosing to upturn an evergreen in mid-air or position an oversized octopus underneath a floating house. Simultaneously uncanny and calming, the composites are eye-catching and rooted in imagination. “There are things in the world that inspire childlike wonder and awe, and it is my passion to recreate and share them with the world,” the artist says.

All of the digital works here, which blend stock images and Chin’s own shots, fall under the scope of Ted’s Little Dream, the fictional universe that the artist created years ago and continues to work within. “Storytelling has always been something that inspired me. When I was in grad school, I was not able to travel as much as I wanted to,” he says. “I’ve always dreamed about visiting different places, to see and experience new things, and to tell stories.”

If you’re a Photoshop user, you’ve probably spotted Chin’s cloudy flamingo work (shown below) as part of the 2021 Photoshop splash screen. To dive further into his meditative universe, head to Instagram, and pick up a print from his shop.

 

 

 



Food Science

Dry Out: A Timelapse Chronicles Dozens of Leaves, Fruits, and Organisms As They Shrivel

January 7, 2021

Grace Ebert

Dry Out” plunges into the minute details of the evaporation process through a dramatic series of timelapses. Shot with macro-lenses and microscopes, the grotesque short film by Christian Stangl reveals water droplets, leaves, and succulent fares, like berries and even whole fish, transforming into their gaseous counterparts during the course of days and weeks. Watch more of Stangl’s films that dive into the lengthy processes of the natural world on Vimeo, and check out stills of the process on Flickr.