Photography

Human Subjects Distorted by Nature in Double-Exposure Photographs by Christoffer Relander

March 19, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Miss Autumn.” All images © Christoffer Relander, shared with permission

During the first frost in the southern region of Finland, Christoffer Relander (previously) shot dense patches of branches, ferns, and blades of grass as part of a new set of double-exposure photographs. Titled We Are Nature Vol. 6, the monochromatic project merges human figures with nature to generate a portrait of a woman whose forehead is substituted with overflowing brush. Another image shows two kids whose features are obscured by leaves and vines.

The Finland-based photographer, who has a background in graphic design, tells Colossal that he decides how to pair each subject and natural element based on graphical compositions and forms. “The botanical textures are matched more after the overall mood. If it feels wrong, I will simply trust my gut,” he says.

Whereas many of his previous projects had been blended in-camera, Relander altered his method for this series thanks to extra time indoors due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. “I decided, however, to still bring inspiration from both the multiple exposure film algorithms (negative film) and some basic darkroom techniques,” he writes.

When doing it in-camera, the manipulation is basically done instantly. Then while using external software (Photoshop) I get more flexibility and options. Not always for the better. I have ruined artworks by taking it too far. Doing it in-camera can feel really rewarding when done right. But the pressure can be tiring.

For more of Relander’s works that expertly blend themes of nature and humanity, head to Instagram or Behance.

“Blood tie”

“Butterfly mind”

“First frost”

“Frosted back”

“Guardian”

“Resting butterfly”

“Triplets”

 

 



Craft

Magical Butterflies and Insects Stitched in Dense Thread Paintings by Emillie Ferris

March 18, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Emillie Ferris, shared with permission

Since she first began embroidering in 2013, Emillie Ferris (previously) has stitched a few rows nearly every day. The United Kingdom-based artist creates dense thread paintings of butterflies, bees, and other creatures surrounded by vibrant, scattered florals. Her lengthy stitches form precisely colored patterns and rows, offering a distinct texture to each wing and antennae.

Ferris tells Colossal that much of her work is based on vintage entomology illustrations, which she reviews multiple times before beginning one of her realistic projects that are “inspired by nature, with a tiny sense of magic.”

I love to try and emulate a sense of romanticism in my embroideries. I like to study numerous references of the object I want to embroider. For example, I must have saved hundreds of reference photos and watched many videos of the blue morpho butterfly, before digitally painting the butterfly in photoshop, then transferring the pattern to fabric and bringing the butterfly to life with so many shades of blue thread. I couldn’t count them.

A few years ago, the artist also designed digital thread-painting tutorials that are available on Etsy. You can find more of her enchantingly stitched projects on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art Illustration

Black Trash Bags Take Control of Animal and Human Life in ‘Garb-age’ by Murmure

March 18, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Garbage whale” (2019), black stone and pencil on paper, 70 x 100 centimeters. All images © Murmure

French duo Paul Ressencourt and Simon Roche, or Murmure, highlight the nefarious nature of a commonplace object in their latest project that explores the human impact on the environment. The monochromatic pieces illustrate the ubiquity of the black trash bag as it composes a whale, masks the heads of an embracing couple, and floats in a large group through the air like a flock of birds. Each bag shines in the light, accentuating its plastic materiality.

Murmure told Juxtapoz that the black-and-white pieces are designed to be straightforward, a strategy that emphasizes the single red tie meant to signify a narrative thread. “The main idea was to play with the colors of a regular black garbage bag as much as possible. Not only for dramatic appeal, but also for the depth of shades and, somehow, the elegance of its texture and reaction to light. That’s why we use graphite pencil, to achieve this texture,” the pair said.

Ranging from drawings on paper to larger murals, the works are part of a broader project called Garb-age, a nod to the idea of a new era, that directly speaks to the growing climate crisis. The duo says the purpose is to show the power street art specifically has to impact the ways people think. “To us, Garb-age is a meaningful project that allows us to raise awareness of important environmental issues,” they said. Each piece is “a powerful image reflecting the choices everyone faces daily, between our knowledge of the issues at stake and what we can do about them but don’t. We would love it if visitors could pass this first impression and understand there’s hope behind every picture created.”

Murmure had an exhibition scheduled at Galerie LJ in Paris this month, although it has closed due to worries about the spread of coronavirus. However, the gallery has shot a virtual tour that’s available on Instagram, where you can also find more of the duo’s climate-aware pieces.

“The lovers” (2020), black stone on paper, 60 x 80 centimeters

“Garbage whale” (2019), Vladivostok

“Garbage tail” (2020), black stone and colored pencil, 210 x 135 centimeters

“Duffel Battle” (2020), Paris

“Garbage Ocean 03,” black stone and acrylic on paper, 60 x 80 centimeters

“Soaring”

 

 



Science

Watch the Aquatic Animals at Monterey Bay Aquarium via These Free Live Streams

March 18, 2020

Grace Ebert

You may have had to cancel your spring vacation, but you still can (virtually) visit the aquatic animals housed at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Peek at the groups of jellyfish and sharks, do some bird watching in the Aviary, follow the African penguins as they waddle around, and catch a glimpse at the pulsing moon jellies all through the institutions’ free live streams. And for close-ups of the species, head to Instagram. (via Laughing Squid)

 

 



Art

168,000 Numbers Suspended From the Ceiling in Color-Coded Installation by Emmanuelle Moureaux

March 17, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Emmanuelle Moureaux

In an effort to merge the past, present, and future in a single work, Tokyo-based French architect and designer Emmanuelle Moureaux (previously) hung 168,000 paper numbers in rainbow-like rows to create her latest piece, “Slices of Time.” The suspended project contains 100 hues, in addition to white, that are formed into a vibrant cylinder meant to serve as a visual representation of Earth. “She uses colours as three-dimensional elements, like layers, in order to create spaces, not as a finishing touch applied on surfaces. Handling colours as a medium to compose space, her wish is to give emotion through colours with her creations, which range from art, design to architecture,” a statement about the work said.

Part of her 100 Colors series, the piece is on view at NOW Gallery in London through April 19, although the space currently is closed due to the ongoing threat of coronavirus. To keep up with Moureaux’s next numerical project, follow her on Instagram. (via design boom)

 

 



Craft Design

Gummy Bears, Sugary Cereal, and Sushi Converted into Playful Apparel by Nicole McLaughlin

March 17, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Nicole McLaughlin

Nicole McLaughlin (previously) ensures she always has a snack at her fingertips—or stashed in a puffy vest or lining the top of her sandals. The former Reebok graphic designer creates upcycled clothing, footwear, and household items from pouches of gummy candy, old fleece jackets, and even inflated bags of popcorn. Often prominently displaying logos, McLaughlin’s projects provide a humorous take on branding and fashion trends.

The playful pieces also are part of the designer’s years-long efforts toward creating environmentally aware fashion. “I would go to thrift stores and try to find something that I could make something new out of,” McLaughlin told WWD of her initial desire to create her converted, and now edible, apparel. “This inspired my philosophy to be more sustainable and I adopted being sustainable into my practices as a designer, because there’s so much to be done here.” To see what she thinks up next, follow McLaughlin on Instagram.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by nm (@nicolemclaughlin) on

 

 



Colossal

Skillshare Classes to Keep You Busy—and Give You a Break from the News—While Social Distancing

March 17, 2020

Grace Ebert

As many of us are stuck at home the next few weeks due to the ongoing threat of coronavirus, Colossal aims to help fill the hours both productively—and unproductively—with some fun lists of activities: think art podcasts, animated shorts, online classes, our favorite art documentaries streaming now, and a few great new books. So log off Twitter, block the news for a few hours, and distract yourself from the ebb and flow of global anxiety. Today we start with Skillshare, an innovative online platform offering creative courses ranging from illustration and design to creative writing and marketing. Here are some of our favorite courses available now, many taught by artists and designers previously mentioned here on Colossal.

Take a drawing class with New York-based artist Shantell Martin (previously). She offers two courses designed for all levels using what she terms “low-maintenance” materials, like simple pens and drawing apps.

 

Learn to letter with Jessia Hische. The San Francisco-based illustrator, who has an impressive client list, has released three classes, including one designing book covers and two others focusing on text-based projects.

 

Detroit-born designer Aaron Draplin offers a course designed to “celebrate your grandma and all the weird sh*t your dad says by designing your family crest.” In other words, he teaches attendees the basics of logo design.

 

Sara Boccaccini Meadows combines watercolor and gouache in a class that teaches students to create a lush, botanical garden. The Brooklyn-based illustrator talks through sketching, mixing colors, layering paints, and adding detail.

 

For those hoping to build a brand, photographer and creative consultant Gareth Pon (previously) provides a staggering statistic: there are more than 300 million Instagram accounts. Pon’s course teaches best practices for getting noticed, from perfecting your profile to consistency to cross-posting.

 

A simple program based on daily practice, Brent Eviston’s The Art & Science of Drawing is created for beginners hoping to learn the fundamentals of shape, proportion, and shading.

 

Eviston offers a similar class focused on anatomical forms and bodies, although The Art & Science of Figure Drawing is geared toward those who already have a solid understanding of drawing basics.

 

Create a short clip with American director and stop-motion animator PES (previously), who shares insights behind developing concepts, determining narratives, getting the film, and editing a stop-motion project in his course.