Photography

2022 BigPicture Competition Highlights the Resilient and Striking Biodiversity Around the World

June 14, 2022

Grace Ebert

“The Stoat’s Game” by Jose Grandío, Terrestrial Life Finalist. All images courtesy of BigPicture Natural World Photography Competition, originally published in bioGraphic, shared with permission

Stoats, a type of short-tailed weasel, are known for their mesmerizing dances, a distraction tactic that involves twists and leaps like the one captured by photographer Jose Grandío. Jumping above the snowy landscape, the ermine bends its tiny body and opens its mouth in an extravagant gesture. Grandío’s shot is one of a dozen winners in the 2022 BigPicture Natural World Photography competition, which showcases the stunning diversity of life around the world. Similar to the 2021 contest, this year’s iteration focuses on the risk the climate crisis poses to the ecosystem and creatures so deftly captured by an international group of photographers. See some of our favorite images below, and find all of the winning shots on the competition’s site.

 

“Bee Balling,” by Karine Aigner, Grand Prize Winner

“Tunnel Vision” by Tom Shlesinger, Aquatic Life Finalist

“After the Fall” by David Slater, Aquatic Life Winner

“Frame Within a Frame” by Sitaram May, Winged Life Winner

“Hidden Beauty” by Tom St George, Landscapes, Waterscapes, and Flora Winner

“Spider Web” by Bence Máté, Terrestrial Life Winne

“Face to Face” by Fernando Constantino Martínez Belmar, Human/Nature Finalist

 

 



Art

Dozens of Carved Layers Compose Vivid Linocut Prints of Cats and Bouquets by Vanessa Lubach

June 13, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Helen with Geraniums.” All images © Vanessa Lubach, shared with permission

Norfolk-based artist Vanessa Lubach likens her printmaking practice to that of oil painting and draws on the latter to inform her vibrant compositions. “I linocut like a painter and paint like a linocutter, and the two disciplines work together to inform and enhance each other,” she tells Colossal. Whether depicting bunches of dahlias and cosmos in a ceramic pitcher or an enchanting forest landscape, Lubach’s works center on quiet moments in domestic interiors or out among nature.

Each piece begins with a sketch and a general idea of the palette. “I’m always optimistic that I can limit the colour layers to around a dozen at this point, but that almost never happens. They almost always end up in the 20s,” she says. After drawing and carving the main image, or key block, she prints and transfers the composition to additional blocks designed for each individual color. Some pieces, like the ceremonial “Allotment Bouquet,” take almost a year to complete.

Two of Lubach’s works are included in the traveling 84th Annual Exhibition of the Society of Wood Engravers, which is on view through July 9 at Sea Pictures Gallery in Suffolk. She also has a variety of prints available on Etsy and shares much more of her process and glimpses into her studio on Instagram. (via Women’s Art)

 

“Hector with Dahlias”

“Hector with Dahlias”

“Hector with Dahlias”

“Allotment Bouquet”

“Allotment Bouquet”

“Blickling Through The Trees”

“Blickling Through The Trees”

“Dahlia and Cosmos”

 

 



Design

Ceramic Tiles Overlay an Infinity-Shaped Roof at a Bamboo Pavilion in Sichuan Province

June 13, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Archi-Union Architects

Daoming Town in Sichuan Province, China, is known for its bamboo weaving traditions. “The practice,” says Archi-Union Architects, “is more than a rural industry. It is an integral part of the way families in the town spend time together and how neighbors visit with each another.”

One of the firm’s projects titled “In Bamboo” is an homage to this rich local custom. Constructed in just 52 days back in 2018, the multi-use pavilion stretches 1,800 square meters and contains space for exhibitions, gatherings, and dining. The steel and wood structure supports a twisting, infinity-shaped roof of small ceramic tiles, which slopes down near a reflective pool at the center of the building.

Evoking the brushstroke of a traditional Chinese landscape painting and situated amongst a bamboo forest, the Mobius-style design is meant to capture the relationships between interior and exterior and heritage and innovation. “The new definition offered for traditional paradigms and the rethinking of rural and urban issues provide a lens for thinking about the meaning of architecture in the present time,” said lead architect Philip F. Yuan.

Find more photos of “In Bamboo,” in addition to an archive of Archi-Union’s projects, on its site.

 

 

 



Art

Vivid Spectrums of Color Radiate from Chris Wood’s Intricate Installations of Dichroic Glass

June 10, 2022

Grace Ebert

Commission for Clé de Peau Beauté

“Light,” says Chris Wood, “is the purest form of radiance.” The Cambridgeshire-based artist is known for her dazzling installations made of dichroic glass—this transparent material produces a shifting spectrum of color depending on the viewpoint—that emit phenomenal prisms when illuminated. Often arranged on a panel or wall, the works evoke organic patterns, like helices, murmurations, and in the case of Wood’s most recent piece, the spiral of a nautilus shell.

A commission from the beauty brand Clé de Peau Beauté in celebration of its 40th anniversary, this new rainbow-like installation revolves around that milestone. “There are 40 spirals, each with 40 dichroic elements to them. Embedded within each spiral is the number 40, written in binary code. The dichroic pieces will project 40 millimeters from the surface of the artwork. The outermost circle measures 1,600 millimeters in diameter—the square root of which is 40,” Wood (previously) says.

This incredibly intricate design also references the earth, moon, and sun through the three more prominent rings and expands on the intrinsic connection between the mathematical and natural. She explains:

I see this artwork as an interpretation of how radiance, much like ideas and discoveries, start from one central point and expand outwards… The whole design is built around Fibonacci’s golden ratio, which we see in natural forms from flowers to animal pattern. I was initially inspired by the nautilus shell. It is a wonderful representation of Fibonacci’s spiral. The form of the shell is structured to provide strength and protection, and the shell itself is iridescent. We find in this a representation of how radiance can be embodied within us, as projected to those around us.

Wood currently has a few smaller pieces available in her shop, and you can explore an archive of her works on her site and Instagram.

 

Detail of commission for Clé de Peau Beauté

Detail of commission for Clé de Peau Beauté

“Ahlia”

Detail of commission for Clé de Peau Beauté

“Murmuration” (2019)

Detail of “Murmuration” (2019)

 

 



Art

Vegetation and Hybrid Figures Entwine in Winnie Truong’s Mythical Collaged Drawings

June 10, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Mothercraft” (2022), drawing and cut paper collage on panel, 20 x 16 inches. All images © Winnie Truong, courtesy of VIVIANEART, shared with permission

Canadian artist Winnie Truong recontextualizes the sleek, piecey qualities of human hair in her cut-paper collages. Constructed in layers within rectangular frames, the surreal works utilize the soft texture to depict flowers, vegetation, and strange anthropomorphic figures with elongated fingers and faces obscured by body parts or surroundings. Each piece is rooted in Truong’s drawing practice, and the colored pencil renderings add depth to the mythical compositions.

An extension of her two-dimensional works, these dioramas similarly explore the connection between women and nature. Many of the hybrid figures are entangled with foliage and their own anatomies, positioning traditional understandings of beauty alongside disorienting and more fantastic forms.

Visit Truong’s Instagram for more of her recent works and a glimpse into her process.

 

“Yellow Wallpaper and Scarlet Vipers” (2021), drawing and cut paper collage on panel, 20 x 16 inches

“Lilies in the Bog” (2021), drawing and cut paper collage on panel, 20 x 16 inches

“Twin Letdown” (2021), drawing and cut paper collage on panel, 24 x 18 inches

“Eyes at Dusk” (2022), drawing and cut paper collage on panel, 24 x 20 inches

“Distal Edges” (2021), drawing and cut paper collage on panel

“Gentle Snares” (2021), drawing and cut paper collage on panel, 20 x 16 inches

 

 



Art

Vintage Typewriters Are Reassembled into Amazing Metallic Bird Sculptures by Jeremy Mayer

June 9, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Jeremy Mayer, shared with permission

Jeremy Mayer challenges the notion that typewriters’ creative output is confined to the written word. The artist scours shops and trash bins near his Bay Area studio for analog processors in disrepair that he then disassembles, sorts, and reconstructs into metallic sculptures. His previous works include symmetrical assemblages, anatomical recreations, and an ongoing series of birds, the most recent of which are shown here. Mayer builds every piece solely from original parts rather than soldering or gluing, and some sculptures, including the black crow with a Corona-brand typewriter logo on its back, feature spring-like components that allow the creatures to bob their heads.

Mayer is currently at work on a few large-scale reliefs, a kinetic lotus, skull, and additional birds, and you can follow updates and news about purchasing pieces on his Instagram. For more about his practice, check out the 2016 film California Typewriter, which documents his work alongside other enthusiasts.