Whether shooting in the harsh snowy regions of Greenland or on the basalt-lined waters of Iceland’s Stuðlagil canyon, Jan Erik Waider highlights the textures and fleeting shapes of the earth’s landscapes. His photographs often isolate monumental subject matter like glaciers and deep, rocky canyons in a way that makes the abstracted forms appear like mysterious, otherworldly environments, an approach he continues in his recent LAVA series.
Earlier this year, Waider, who is based in Hamburg but frequently travels throughout remote regions in the Nordic countries, trekked to Iceland’s Nátthagi valley following the Fagradalsfjall volcano eruption. He spent three days getting as close as possible to the magma as it poured across the landscape and using a telephoto lens to document its changing forms in magnified detail, which he describes in a note to Colossal:
I was absolutely blown away by how quickly the lava field changed. Apparently, cooled lava broke open, and thick, fresh lava flowed out and formed new shapes and “sculptures,” which were then destroyed again by new lava a few minutes later. This simultaneously beautiful but also brutal transience was the charm for me. A surreal landscape that in just a few minutes will no longer be visible to anyone.
The resulting images contrast the crispy, charred edges of the cooled rock with its molten underbelly. You can see a portion of the LAVA series is below, but check out Waider’s Behance for the full collection. All of the shots are also available as prints on his site.
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In 2021, it’s rare to stumble upon a work by Vincent van Gogh that hasn’t been previously identified, but researchers recently uncovered a few early drawings slipped inside one of the Dutch artist’s books. Now on view as part of Here to Stay at the Van Gogh Museum, the newly discovered bookmark has been hidden for about 135 years and dates back to autumn 1881, when the artist was in his late 20s and living in his parents’ village of Etten.
Depicting three single figures in a vertical line, the pencil sketches were found inside the artist’s copy of Histoire d’un Paysan, an illustrated novel by Emile Erckmann and Alexandre Chatrian that details the French Revolution from the perspective of a peasant in Alsace. Van Gogh mailed the book, which he first inscribed with his name, to his friend and fellow artist Anthon van Rappard in 1883, saying “I do think you’ll find the Erckmann-Chatrian beautiful.”
Van Rappard sat for a drawn portrait with van Gogh not long after receiving the novel, which was held by the family of van Rappard’s wife until the Van Gogh Museum purchased it in 2019. Despite their friendship, the pair had a falling out in 1885 after van Rappard criticized the lithograph “The Potato Eaters” (1885).
The discovery will be on view alongside artifacts and other artworks acquired by the Amsterdam museum in the last decade through September 12. (via Artnet)
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Three new faces join the quirky cast of characters at Nantes’s Jardin des Plantes. Part of artist Jean Jullien’s Filili Viridi project that’ll be on view through November, the colorful trio is spotted reclining in the grass, perched in a tree, and plunged in a small reservoir. Joyful and slightly mischievous, the new additions, which are made of painted steel, join six others that have been hanging out in the botanical garden since last summer. See more of Jullien’s illustrated ensembles on Instagram, and pick up a poster in his shop.
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Coinciding with the European Union’s ban on plastic cutlery slated for July 3, two industrial designers decided to combine their collections for a broad study of the ubiquitous utensil. The ongoing project of Peter Eckart and Kai Linke, Spoon Archaeology is an expansive display of approximately 1,400 pieces of disposable flatware that the pair amassed throughout two decades. Containing typical cutlery and more niche tools like ice cream tasters and cocktail forks, the archive is arranged by color, shape, and purpose in glass cases reminiscent of anthropological studies, relegating the once-commonplace objects to the realm of outdated curiosity.
At once a playful rainbow display of unique design objects and critical indictment of consumerism, Spoon Archaeology, which closed this weekend at the London Design Biennale, is a testament to the pervasiveness of plastics in contemporary society. The designers hope the scope of the collection prompts questions about the impact of single-use items on the environment. “As disposable products, they are mass-produced, cheap, easy to transport, and can be disposed of just as easily as they have been used. Ultimately, they are a symbol of our globalized logistics and throwaway culture,” Eckart told It’s Nice That, noting that the exhibition also marks a larger change in “significant factors in our table and dining culture as well as in the history of technology.”
To make the archive more accessible, Eckart and Linke started an Instagram account dedicated to Spoon Archaeology, where they plan to share more images from the collection in addition to news about where it’s headed next. They also created a color-coded print shown below that lays out a portion of their lot, which you can purchase via email or download for free here. (via Core 77)
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In his new print “Journey to Zen,” artist Thomas Yang (previously) focuses on the mental benefits of his favorite pastime. The Singapore-based artist is behind 100 Copies, an ongoing print project in which he releases limited-edition works centered around his love of cycling—previous iterations include architectural renderings inked with bike tires and a competitive peloton of riders.
“Journey to Zen” renders a lone cyclist in a manner similar to a Japanese sand garden, using long, uninterrupted strokes of black ink. “To simulate that particular style with continuous lines or samon (砂紋) in the gravel, I had decided to use a rake paintbrush as part of the tool. To familiarise (myself) with the brush, it took me quite a while to practice on the strokes and shades, especially for those curvy ones,” the artist shares. Once complete, Yang digitally enhanced the brushtrokes and printed the piece on textured paper to deepen the stone-like effect.
Born out of a period of uncertainty, the fluid and composed lines represent the meditative qualities of the sport and its ability to serve as an outlet for stress and anxiety. “Sometimes, taking our bike out for a ride brings us on an inward journey,” Yang says. “Almost like a form of Zen meditation, the noise fades, our mind clears, and all we are focused on is the path before us. The longer and farther we go, the more we learn about ourselves and the nature of our mind.”
There are still a few “Journey to Zen” prints available on 100 Copies, where you can find more of Yang’s available works.
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Haifa-based photographer Lior Patel has spent the last seven months immersed in the daily rhythms of sheep. Hovering above the Peace Valley region of Yokneam, he’s documented a single flock’s grazing process in a captivating timelapse that shows the animals racing across the agricultural landscape and down roadways in robust, heaving masses. Shot with a drone, the accelerated footage attests to the drove’s shape-shifting instincts, which resembles other naturally occurring patterns like a flowing current or mesmerizing starling murmurations.
Vegetable farmer Michael Morgan, who’s referred to as the “king of cabbage,” and South Africa-born herder Keith Markov have managed the flock since 1985, and today it fluctuates between 1,000 and 1,750 individuals. Each year, the sheep migrate up to seven kilometers from the valley to the outskirts of Ramot Menashe with the help of shepherds Mustafa Tabash, Mahmoud Kaabiyah, Eyal Morgan, and Dan Goldfinger and a few border collies, which you can see circling the edges of the flock and rounding up stragglers.
To focus on the sheep’s natural movements, Patel tells Colossal that he captured most scenes from a fixed camera position. Each shot shows between 4-7 minutes of the shepherds corralling the animals en route to their next location. “The first challenge is to understand the elasticity of the herd during the movement, its dispersal during grazing, and how it converges into one tight pack towards exit/return from pasture and crossing roads and paths,” he says.
Patel frequently travels throughout Isreal documenting agricultural practices, barges, and the historic architecture of city centers with a drone, and you can find more of his aerial photos and footage on his site and Instagram.
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Highlights below. For the full collection click here.