Design Photography Science

Chart-Like Composite Photographs by Dan Marker-Moore Show the Progression of the 2019 Solar Eclipse

August 12, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Los Angeles-based photographer Dan Marker-Moore (previously) flew south to document the solar eclipse that occurred in Chile on July 2, 2019. While many professional photographers also documented the event, most images capture the singular moment in one image. Marker-Moore decided to break out the progression in orderly chart-like designs. He shares with Colossal that he experimented with over one hundred different format variants before deciding on the final five. Each image contains between 26 and 425 photos of the sun. Read more about Marker-Moore’s trip and the equipment he used here, and find prints of his eclipse series in his online store. The photographer also shares new work on Instagram.

 

 



Art Craft

Elaborate Embroidery by Laura Baverstock Forms Insects and Animals from Precious Metals and Colored Threads

August 12, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

London-based embroidery artist Laura Baverstock crafts stunningly intricate animals using colored and metallic thread. From copper bees to gold lions, Baverstock renders the unique textures of each creature. The artist studied at the Royal School of Needlework, where she received a degree in Hand Embroidery, and now works in the film and fashion industries. If you watched last year’s Mary Queen of Scots, you saw Baverstock’s embroidery work on the actors’ outfits, which earned an Oscar nomination for costume designer Alexandra Byrne.

“Embroidery has such a rich history, and I’ve found the specialized nature of the craft and the variety of traditional techniques to be hugely inspiring,” Baverstock shares with Colossal. “Needlework has such versatility and universal appeal; within my own practice I particularly strive to push the boundaries of three-dimensional hand embroidery and precious metal goldwork, with a focus on natural themes and realism.” Explore more of Baverstock’s complex embroidery work on her website and Instagram. (via Colossal Submissions)

 

 



Art

Crystal Hearts and Translucent Tongues Shaped Into Sculptural Works by Debra Baxter

August 12, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

“Cross My Heart” (2019), Glass, Crystal Geode, 4.5″ x 5″ x 3″

Santa Fe-based sculptor and jewelry designer Debra Baxter combines glass, bronze, crystal, wood, and found objects to create ghostly sculptures of human forms. In one piece titled “Cross My Heart” (2019), a purple heart sits on top of a rough cluster of geodes, while in ‘First Taste” (2017), a glass tongue protrudes from a slab of quartz crystal.

For many of her recent works Baxter, shares with Roq Larue Gallery that she drew inspiration from the phenomenon of the “Ghost Heart.” In this medical procedure, a heart is cleansed of all of its blood cells and then injected with hundreds of millions of new blood steam cells which cause the heart to begin beating again. Baxter is interested in how this concept explores the complexity of existence, walking the line between life and death.  You can see more of her sculpted hearts and wearable artworks on her website and Instagram.

“Crystal Brass Knuckles (Aura Blow)” (2017), Aqua Aura Crystal and White Rhodium Plated Bronze, 7″ x 5″ x 2″

“Ghost Hand” (2019), Glass, Smoky Quarts, 13″ x 11″ x 12″

“First Taste” (2017), Glass and Quartz Crystal, 6″ x 8″ x 4″

“Silver Heart” (2019), Silver, Quartz, 3″ x 3.5″ x 5.75″

“I’m Your Venus” (2017), Cast Glass, Bronze, 5″ x 5.5″ x 2.5″

“Wind Knocked In” (2017), Amethyst, Bronze, Mopany Wood, 9.5″ x 15″ x 6.5″

“Heart of Gold” (2019), Bronze, Thunder Bay amethyst, 3″ x 3.5″ x 5.75″

 

 



Art

Intricate Beadwork Adorns Handmade Mardi Gras Suits by Demond Melancon

August 11, 2019

Andrew LaSane

For the past three decades, Louisiana-based artist Demond Melancon has created highly detailed Mardi Gras Indian suits using millions of hand-sewn small glass beads. Each suit takes several months to create and features custom patches that tell stories about African and American history.

Images of Nyabinghi warriors, Haile Selassie, African nature scenes, and slavery are strung together bead by bead to form decorative costumes that weigh up to 150 pounds and are worn from 9am to 6pm on Mardi Gras. Frills and feathers frame the complex beadwork and sequins to complete the one-of-a-kind single purpose suits.

Melancon tells Colossal that in junior high school his friends “masked Indian” and that he followed them into the craft. He was chosen by the elders to learn sewing techniques as well as the history of Black Masking Culture in New Orleans when he was 14 years old. After masking as a Spy Boy for 15 years with the Seminole Hunters, Melancon earned the distinction of becoming Big Chief to his own tribe. In addition to leading his community and passing on traditions to the next generation, the honor is expressed through the size and intricacy of his suits, which can take over 4,000 hours to complete and are only worn once.

“I study our history and historical narratives to create my pieces [with] many different references,” Big Chief Demond Melancon of the Young Seminole Hunters explained. He added that as a “bead master,” his style involves using the smallest beads available to pack in as much detail as possible.

Melancon’s work has been exhibited in galleries around the world. A new documentary short about his life and art titled “All on a Mardi Gras Day” (dir. Michal Pietrzyk) was the Documentary: Grand Jury Prize Winner at Seattle International Film Festival and has been shown at other festivals across America, Germany, and Denmark. For a list of upcoming screenings and to see more of the Big Chief’s suits, visit his website and Instagram.

 

 



Art Photography

AfroArt Photo Series Challenges Beauty Standards with Young Black Models

August 10, 2019

Andrew LaSane

All Images: Kahran and Regis Bethencourt. Styling by LaChanda Gatson, Shanna Thomasson and Angela Plummer

Husband and wife photography duo Regis and Kahran Bethencourt of CreativeSoul Photography capture images of children that celebrate the beauty, culture, and heritage of afro hairstyles. Often dressed in ornate African-inspired garb, Black girl and boy models are crowned with afros, twists, and braids as symbols of strength and grace.

The Bethencourts, based in Atlanta, have been working together for 10 years and began photographing children with natural hair in 2013. The “AfroArt” series began when they noticed a lack of diversity in the industry. The way the children in the series are styled and posed against warm backgrounds recalls the regal oil portraits painted of upper class men and women during the Renaissance movement. “We decided to showcase kids with natural hair to empower them (and others in the industry) to embrace it and for the kids to be proud of their culture and natural curls,” the photographers tell Colossal.

“When we first started out we were primarily working with child models, but now more than half of the kids have never modeled before,” they added. “Many parents hire us so that their child can get the experience of feeling empowered for the day. We will typically guide them on set to make them feel comfortable. Most of them just see it as a fun experience, but they usually leave the studio feeling a little more proud and self-confident.”

CreativeSoul Photography has an online shop where images from the AfroArt series can be purchased as prints, calendars, and other products. They also recently signed a book deal, so keep an eye out for that at your local bookstore. In the meantime, follow CreativeSoul Photography on Instagram for more striking images and future updates.

 

 



Design

The World’s Largest Bicycle Garage Opens in Utrecht

August 9, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Photos: Petra Appelhof

Colossal recently covered Utrecht’s efforts to green up their public transit with bee-friendly bus stops, and the Dutch city is at it again with the world’s largest bike garage. The multi-level structure, recently completed, is totally underground, allowing the public square above to be a pedestrian-first space. Designed by Ector Hoogstad Architects in collaboration with the Sant & Co firm and Royal Haskoning DHV, the garage accommodate 13,500 bicycles. This quantity unseats Tokyo as home to the world’s largest bike garage. To learn more about the specifics and logistical considerations of the design, visit the architect’s website. (via designboom)

 

 



Photography

Bolivia’s Powerful Cholitas Luchadora Wrestlers Photographed by Todd Antony

August 9, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

All photographs © Todd Antony, shared with permission

Photographer Todd Antony (previously) documents Bolivia’s best-dressed wrestlers in a new series, Flying Cholitas. The women, who are indigenous Aymara, compete in their sport wearing voluminous petticoats, colorful skirts, and long-sleeved lacy tops rather than in the minimal, form-fitting spandex worn by many athletes around the world.

These ensembles resemble ones that Aymara were expected—sometimes even required—to wear during five centuries of oppression under Spanish occupiers. The wrestlers wear these ensembles to show pride in their history and take back their visibility. Similarly, the identifier “cholita,” originally a derogatory term, has been reclaimed in recent years by indigenous Bolivians as a point of pride.

If you’re curious to see the athletes in action, Luisa Dörr and Michael James Johnson were commissioned by Apple to shoot a short documentary on the flying cholitas, which you can watch below. Aymara architect Freddy Mamani has also championed indigenous Bolivian aesthetics with his buildings, which we’ve covered previously on Colossal.

Explore more of Antony’s wide-ranging photography on his website and Instagram.

 

 

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