Colossal

Skillshare Spotlight: Learn Danielle Clough’s Thread Painting Techniques

February 18, 2020

Grace Ebert

We’ve written about Danielle Clough’s intimate embroidered portraits and botanical works stitched on everyday objects on Colossal, and now the Cape Town-based photographer, designer, and embroidery artist is offering a Skillshare class to teach her thread painting methods. Tailored for beginners, her lesson plans include basic stitches and French knots and instructions on creating textures, color gradients, and dimension. She also provides a full guide to preparing your fabric, hoop, needle, and thread. When you’ve completed the 14-part class, you’ll have created a floral embroidery. Head to Skillshare to dive into Clough’s creative process.

 

 



Art Design

Solar-Powered Air Balloon by Tomás Saraceno Shatters Records, While Protesting Lithium Mining

February 18, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Tomás Saraceno

In late January in Salinas Grandes, Jujuy, Argentina, artist Tomás Saraceno (previously) launched a black air balloon powered only by the sun and air, forgoing lithium, helium, or fossil fuels. By absorbing ultraviolet rays to heat the air and allow it to raise, the balloon can hold 250 kilograms, or about two people. The project, titled “Fly with Aerocene Pacha,” became the world’s first sun-powered flight with a pilot and was exhibited as part of Connect, BTS, an arts initiative organized by the South Korean boy band. The global project has connected five cities with 22 artists who have helped fulfill the mission of redefining “the relationships between art and music, the material and immaterial, artists and their audiences, artists and artists, theory and practice.”

Breaking six records with the World Air Sports Federation,  Aerocene Pacha eclipsed previous markers in altitude, distance, and duration for both men and women, thanks to pilot Leticia Marques. During its flight, it reached an altitude of 272.1 meters above ground and crossed 2.56 kilometers. The longest flight lasted an hour and 21 minutes.

In a statement, Saraceno added context to the project that falls at the intersection of art, culture, and environment, speaking to the abundance of lithium in the area that’s being mined for use in batteries. “This extractivist attitude is evidenced in the Salinas Grandes by the recent rush to mine lithium, furthering the man-made violence that incites climate change and mass extinction, the race to colonize space and disturbed balance of interconnected ecosystems,” he writes. The ballon prominently displays the phrase, “El agua y la vida valen más que el litio,” or “Water and life are worth more than lithium.” Activists from indigenous organizations attended the launch of the balloon, protesting the extraction process.

The Kirchner Cultural Center in Argentina is hosting a special exhibition, which includes video of the historic flights, devoted to Saraceno’s work through March 22. To see more of the artist’s ethically minded projects, check out his Instagram. (via Hyperallergic)

 

 



Design

An Anti-Smartphone With a Rotary Designed and Built by Space Engineer Justine Haupt

February 15, 2020

Andrew LaSane

All images © Justine Haupt

Justine Haupt, a developer of astronomy instrumentation at Brookhaven National Laboratory, spent the last three years developing a device that strips away all of the non-phone functions of modern smartphones. The Portable Wireless Electronic Digital Rotary Telephone (aka Rotary Cellphone) does not have a touchscreen, menus, or other superfluous features. It fits in Haupt’s pocket, and it makes calls.

The first version of Haupt’s anti-smartphone was made using a cellphone radio development board. As the project progressed, she worked out a way to make it compact, to view missed calls on a small display, and to ensure that the device could be taken apart and fixed if necessary. While the Rotary Cellphone may seem like a fun novelty, Haupt (until now a devoted flip phone user) says that is not the point. Everything from the removable antenna to dedicated speed dial keys for her husband and other contacts is utilitarian and a direct contrast to the devices many of you are reading this article on right now.

“This is a statement against a world of touchscreens, hyperconnectivity, and complacency with big brother watchdogs,” Haupt writes on her website. In a post sharing the open source design, she adds that “in a finicky, annoying, touchscreen world of hyperconnected people using phones they have no control over or understanding of, I wanted something that would be entirely mine, personal, and absolutely tactile, while also giving me an excuse for not texting.” (via Kottke)

 

 



Animation Craft

Six-Year-Old Tulip Navigates a Wooly Garden in a New Animation by Andrea Love

February 14, 2020

Grace Ebert

Andrea Love (previously) is back with a new heart-felt animation detailing the journey of a six-year-old girl named Tulip. An adaptation of Hans Christen Anderson’s Thumbelina, the 8-minute short film will chronicle Tulip’s adventures navigating a dense garden after being born from a flower. “We wanted to create a contemporary adaptation of Thumbelina that allows Tulip to be a child, free from a love-story ending and able to find home in more places than one, while maintaining the original story’s themes of risk, adventure and magic,” a statement about the project says.

The Washington-based artist is collaborating with illustrator Phoebe Wahl, and the pair are raising money for the project on Kickstarter. They released two snippets from the longer piece that show a bullfrog hopping onto a lily pad sending ripples through the wooly water and another following pink-cheeked Tulip as she moves aside vines and brush. To find out what happens on Tulip’s journey and to get a peek at the creatures she meets along the way, head to Love’s Instagram.

 

 



Photography

Two Mice Photographed in a Comically Dramatic Struggle in the London Underground

February 14, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Station Squabble.” Image © Sam Rowley, the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, and LUMIX People’s Choice Award

Bristol-based photographer Sam Rowley is dedicated to capturing fleeting moments. After lying down on the platform near London’s Underground and waiting for two mice to appear, Rowley was able to photograph the upright pair as they engaged in a brawl over a morsel of dropped food in a shot titled “Station Squabble.” “He only saw them fight over scraps of food dropped by passengers a few times, possibly because it is so abundant,” said a statement from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, in which Rowley was awarded the 2019 Lumix People’s Choice Award. “This fight lasted a split second, before one grabbed a crumb and they went their separate ways.” To see what transient moments of animal life the photographer captures next, follow him on Instagram. (via Peta Pixel)

 

 



Art Craft Science

Anatomical Forms Emerge From Zippers, Quilted Fabric, and Felt by Élodie Antoine

February 14, 2020

Vanessa Ruiz

“Zip thorax” (2014), zippers. All images © Élodie Antoine, shared with permission 

Belgian artist Élodie Antoine understands the behavior of fibers, controlling them in ways to produce textile designs that are organic, fungal, and oftentimes anatomical in nature. Her anatomies emerge from taut lycra, dense felt structures, and an impressive number of zippers. The pieces are as much a reflection of the numerous tissue types in the human body as the textiles themselves. 

Antoine shares with Colossal her view on the connection between textiles and anatomy. “Textile is a soft material, very sensual and transformable. Felt especially is very interesting for making sculptures because it allows to make forms without sewing, without suture, like the organs of the human body,” she writes.

From a young age, Antoine remembers a fondness for textiles, saying, “using it was obvious for me as both my parents were very interested in knitting and sewing—it was all around me.” She familiarized herself with classic sewing techniques, mastering them to create contemporary forms that transcend technique and fiber. Particularly interesting are her felt sculptures that take on the form of teeth, lower limbs, bones, and other peculiar organic forms. Antoine uses a kitchen knife to slice through the unassuming masses to reveal vibrant anatomical-like cross-sections.

She currently teaches textile design at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Brussels (ARBA-ESA) and is represented by Aeroplastics Gallery. Keep an eye on Antoine’s latest textile endeavors, including watching her cut through her felt sculptures, on Instagram.

Left: “Sliced blue felt” (2013), © Galerie Aeroplastics

“Quilted brain” (2014), lycra and padding, 33 x 25 centimeters

“Quilted heart” (2016), red lycra, padding

 

 

 



Art

Life’s Sublime Moments Unearthed in Cubist Paintings by Connor Addison

February 13, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Innocence Lost” (2020), oil on linen,172 x 94 centimeters. All images © Connor Addison

Barcelona-based painter and photographer Connor Addison situates his recent series of oil paintings within the context of philosopher Edmund Burke’s theory of the sublime. That notion is based on the idea that “whatever is in any sort terrible or operates in a manner analogous to terror, is a source of the sublime; that is, it is productive of the strongest emotion which the mind is capable of feeling.” Aptly titled Sublime Affliction, Addison’s works often feature one or two people lying or sitting still, their expressions conveyed by the shaded geometric shapes that form their fragmented faces and bodies. “Brother & Sally” even expresses the bond between species, portraying a man with his arm slung over a sleeping dog.

Employing muted reds and blues, the artist’s angular paintings explore the human emotions inspired by art, love, and relationships. “Sublimity comes from somewhere beyond, or deeper than immediate sensation—it cannot be literally visualized,” he says of the project. “Thus, figures in the Sublime Affliction series interact with mysterious overbearing entities, sources of sublime power, fear and anxiety.” To keep up with Addison affective pieces, follow him on Instagram. (via Booooooom)

“Innocence Lost” (2020), oil on linen,172 x 94 centimeters

“Luke II (After Yves Klein)” (2016), oil on linen, 50 x 70 centimeters

“Objects of Desire (After Laurence Weiner)” (2016), oil on linen, 196 x 196 centimeters

“Luke I” (2014″, oil on linen, 50 x 70 centimeters

“Brother & Sally” (2012), oil on linen, 140 x 100 centimeters

“Untitled (Reina Sofía, After Richard Serra)” (2019), oil on linen, 100 x 81 centimeters