History Photography

Striking Photographs Capture Ornate Patterns of Historic Iranian Mosques and Palaces

December 30, 2019

Grace Ebert

All images © Fatemeh Hosein Aghaei, shared with permission. Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque in Isfahan, Iran

Iran-based artist Fatemeh Hosein Aghaei takes mesmerizing photographs that showcase the intricate patterns inside the country’s ancient buildings. The artist mostly features mosques in the Iranian city of Isfahan, which is located about 250 miles south of Tehran and is known for its Perso–Islamic designed structures, boulevards, covered bridges, palaces, tile-filled mosques, and minarets. In her photographs, Hosein Aghaei often looks upward to frame the building’s domes and arches complete with complex colorful designs, sometimes even adding glimpses of the city’s blue skies. The artist tells Colossal that she wants her work to capture and share the beauty of Iran’s historic architecture. Keep up with Hosein Aghaei’s captivating images on Instagram.

Sheykh Abdussamad Mausoleum

Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque in Isfahan, Iran

Dowlatabad Garden of Yazd

Ali Qapu Palace of Isfahan, Iran

Jameh Mosque of Isfahan, Iran

Emam Mosque of Isfahan, Iran

Agha Bozorg Mosque of Kashan

Agha Bozorg Mosque of Kashan

 

 



Art

Ceramic Head Sculptures by En Iwamura Explore Philosophies of Movement and Space

December 29, 2019

Andrew LaSane

All images © En Iwamura

Japanese artist En Iwamura creates large ceramic sculptures of heads with minimalist facial features. Holes and slits reference eyes and mouths on the oddly-shaped forms, while uniform grooves traverse the clay surfaces in complex patterns. With site-responsive installations, the artist introduces viewers to the Japanese philosophy of Ma⁠—the relationship between viewers, objects, and negative space⁠—and gives them the opportunity to experience it first-hand.

Born in Kyoto to artist parents, Iwamura studied at Kanazawa College of Craft and Art where he earned MFA and BFA in Crafts/Ceramics. In 2013, he traveled to the United States to study at Clemson University and was later invited to give artist talks and lead workshops in New Hampshire and Montana. Through lectures, his artistic practice, and exhibitions with New York-based Ross + Kramer Gallery, Iwamura has explored ways of altering audience experiences while introducing them to the uniquely Japanese concept of Ma. “People constantly read and measure different Ma between themselves,” the artist said in a statement, “and finding the proper or comfortable Ma between people or places can provide a specific relationship at a given moment.”

Watch a video of Iwamura’s texturing technique here and follow the artist on Instagram to see more expressive characters in various stages of the creation process.

 

 



Art Craft

Colorful Tapestries of Silk, Wool, and Cotton Hand Woven by Judit Just

December 28, 2019

Andrew LaSane

All images © Judit Just

Spanish artist Judit Just of jujujust (previously) crafts vibrant wall tapestries in improvised compositions using traditional and updated weaving techniques. Satin ribbons, viscose fringe tassels, silk threads, cord, and soft wool form unique color, texture, and shape combinations. While each piece is modeled after an original stored in the artist’s studio, the handmade nature of the process ensures that no two tapestries are the same.

These vertical works are hung from wooden dowels that are hand-painted to complement the neon colored textiles. Sizes vary, with some pieces measuring 25 x 25 inches and others stretching more than 3 feet. To witness Just’s weaving and cutting processes, follow her on Instagram. You can also add one of the wall tapestries to your personal collection by placing an order via the artist’s Etsy shop.

 

 



Animation Craft Illustration

Artist Nancy Liang Combines Illustration, Craft, and Digital Art to Create Playful Gifs of Nighttime Scenes

December 27, 2019

Grace Ebert

Sydney-based artist Nancy Liang (previously) takes an unusual and multidisciplinary approach to creating whimsical looping gifs of star-filled nights. Liang begins with kraft paper cutouts and hand-drawn illustrations in her sketchbook that she transfers to a digital platform like Photoshop or After Effects. She then arranges her work in a collage and animates it, creating darkly colored, moving scenes that often focus on the natural elements of cityscapes and suburban life in Australia.

Liang said in an interview with Paper Darts that much of her inspiration comes from her habit of working throughout the night, something she’s done since she was a child. “While most people are asleep, I find something very exciting about being awake. The night is quiet and still, and much like my thoughts, this inspires curious and mysterious urban stories out there,” Liang says.

You can learn more about the artist’s unconventional process that combines programming, craft, and illustration on Tumblr and Instagram.

 

 



Animation Craft

Wool Characters Share in Love’s Hardships in Stop-Motion Film by Anushka Naanayakkara

December 26, 2019

Grace Ebert

A new stop-motion film chronicles the excitement, messiness, and tragedy of love. Directed by BAFTA-winning animation director Anushka Naanayakkara, “A Love Story” depicts two characters who are made of wool, lace, and other fabric remnants as they navigate an entangled relationship. At the beginning, small pieces of string from each face weave into the other, altering their compositions with every interaction to demonstrate the relationship’s effects. Soon the two become so entwined that their faces exhibit completely different patterns and colors. Lastly, an ambiguous dark force appears to envelope the pair and ultimately severs their tangled bonds.

Although the film features love’s tribulations, the director said she wanted to “bring comfort to audiences who have been through a similar experience” in an interview with Short of the Week. The short film was produced by the National Film and Television School in the UK. More of Naanayakkara’s heartfelt projects can be found on Vimeo. (via Short of the Week)

 

 



Art Food Photography

Pearls Puncture and Support Fruit and Vegetables in Photographs by Ana Straže

December 26, 2019

Grace Ebert

All images © Ana Straže, shared with permission

In her latest series Forbidden Foods, photographer Ana Straže pierces a peeling slice of grapefruit, a cut eggplant, and other fruits and vegetables using small pins topped with pearls to create contemporary still lifes of common foods. The Slovenia-based artist manipulates food and positions the pins in patterns as an attempt to alter the meaning of the every day objects. Straže tells Colossal she hoped the pearls would “help expose and emphasize different shapes and food value, such as emphasizing the structure of the epidermis, helping compositionally insert an object into a given space, complementing the food, and adding a new perspective.”

The ongoing series is an extension of the photographer’s previous work Garden of Eden, a project that centered on women’s expulsion in the Old Testament. “Through contemporary ways, I want to capture food in a unique approach with a slight sensual touch,” Straže writes. “With the Forbidden Food series, I’m trying to discover the limits of aesthetics and notice the importance of simple everyday things.” You can see more of the photographer’s food-based work on Instagram.

 

 



Design

Bite Me: Packaging Insults Chewers as They Grab a Piece of Tooth-Shaped Gum

December 24, 2019

Grace Ebert

“Your breath is horrendous.” Pink and red packaging by Zoe Schneider resembles a mouth and taunts users each time they yank out a tooth-shaped piece of gum. With flavors like Black and Blueberry, Citrus Smash, and Pummelmint, the antagonistic product is aptly titled “Bite Me.” Schneider is a recent graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. You can follow her humorous designs on Instagram and Behance.