animals

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Art Craft

Swaths of Colorful Fringe Disguise Animalistic Sculptures by Artist Troy Emery

July 13, 2020

Grace Ebert

“small sweet pink lump” (2020), polyester, polyurethane, pins, and adhesive, 40 x 44 x 39 centimeters. All images © Troy Emery, shared with permission

Many pet owners are quick to name their dog or cat’s breed, but those bringing home one of Troy Emery’s colorful sculptures might need to figure out what species they’ve adopted first. The Melbourne-based artist creates amorphous artworks that resemble a range of four-legged friends, although their figures are enveloped with swaths of long, flowing fringe rather than distinct characteristics.

In a note to Colossal, Emery shares that his tassel-covered sculptures consider how both fine arts and craft are portrayed broadly, in addition to the unique position non-human creatures hold as “tokens of ecological ruination… Along with the theme of animals within decorative arts, my practice plays with both scientific and cultural categorization of the ‘natural’ world, creating ‘fake taxidermy’ that falls between reality and fantasy as exotic hybrid creatures,” he says.

Emery’s indeterminate sculptures are currently on view through an online exhibition with Martin Browne Contemporary, and more of his textile-based projects can be found on Instagram. (via The Jealous Curator)

 

“Bird Catcher” (2017), rayon fringing, polyurethane, glue, and pins

“ingot eater” (2019), polyester, polyurethane, pins, and adhesive, 78 x 98 x 54 centimeters

“pink peony” (2020), polyester, polyurethane, pins, and adhesive, 39 x 68 x 22 centimeters

“shadow” (2019), polyester, polyurethane, pins, and adhesive, 51 x 50 x 45 centimeters

“savage” (2020), polyester, polyurethane, wire, fiberglass, pins, and adhesive, 32 x 90 x 40 centimeters

 

 



History Illustration Science

Vintage Natural Science and Astronomy Illustrations Adorn Face Masks by Maria Popova

June 24, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy of Society6

Maria Popova, of Brain Pickings, has released a series of face masks that bring a dose of history to the modern-day essential. Each fabric covering is adorned with a vintage natural history or astronomy illustration, including Ellen Harding Baker’s solar system quilt, Ernst Haeckel’s renderings of jellyfish, and irises and other medicinal plants originally painted by Elizabeth Blackwell in the 18th century. “Because of the mask’s particular folding pattern, some of the artwork came alive in a wholly new and unexpected way,” Popova writes in a post.

My personal favorite — the original design I made for myself and my most beloved human — is the total solar eclipse mask, evocative of the opening line of astronomer and poet Rebecca Elson’s magnificent “Antidotes to Fear of Death”: “Sometimes as an antidote, To fear of death, I eat the stars.”

Explore some of the collection on Brain Pickings. You also might enjoy these artist-designed masks.

 

 

 



Photography

Foxes Caught in Dramatic Squabbles and Sleepy Coils by Photographer Konsta Punkka

June 18, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Konsta Punkka, shared with permission

Each spring, Helsinki-born photographer Konsta Punkka (previously) stakes out dens, showing he’s as clever in strategy as the foxes he’s hoping to encounter. This commitment to hours lying on cold, wet ground for hours on end has afforded a splendid array of photographs depicting the furry creatures as they tussle, play, and sometimes, expend pent-up energy gnawing on cars. “Fox cubs are often naturally very curious, so all you need to do is to keep a safe distance from the den area and just lay in the ground and wait. Most of the time, the fox cubs come to check you out closer,” he tells Colossal.

A prolific nature photographer, Punkka shares many of his candid images on Instagram. Watch this video interview to get a peek behind his immersive process.

 

 

 



Photography

A Lounging Humpback Whale and Her Newborn Garner Top Prize in International Photography Contest

June 17, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Essence of Life” by Jasmine Carey, of Australia. All images © HIPA and the photographers, shared with permission

Photographer Jasmine Carey, of Australia, captured a heartwarming moment between a mother humpback whale and her baby as they relax in the waters of the Kingdom of Tonga. Titled “Essence of Life,” the underwater shot recently won the top prize in the 2020 HIPA contest. “As we floated and watched them, the sound of the rhythm (of rain) faded just a little and the ocean calmed just enough for the tranquil pair to rise up, meeting the light rays just starting to break through the surface,” Carey said.

The international contest features dozens of winning entries from photographers around the world, all with a central focus. “Water may be the oldest and the perfect companion of humankind. Not only [are] our bodies predominantly made of water, but water is a necessity within our daily lives. From nature to nurture to science and discovery; water is central to our universe,” organizers said.

In its ninth year, the contest, which formally is named the Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award, granted winning photographers a total of $450,000. Explore the full collection of photographs on Instagram. (via PetaPixel)

 

“A Journey Outside Our World,” Apratim Pal, of India

“The Downpour” by François Bogaerts, of Belgium

“Snow Monalisa,” Fahad Al Enezi, of Kuwait

“Spirituality of Colors,” Abdullah Alshathri, of Saudi Arabia

“King of the North,” Talal Al Rabah, of Kuwait

“One Soul Opposite Direction,” Rashed Al Sumaiti, of the UAE

“The Secret of Life,” Yousef Shakar Al Zaabi, of the UAE

 

 



Art

Gripping a Plastic Bag, A Massive Fox by Artist Florentijn Hofman Towers Over Rotterdam

June 16, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Florentijn Hofman by Frank Hanswijk, shared with permission

Residents of Rotterdam’s Bospolder-Tussendijken frequently spot bushy-tailed foxes roaming their streets at night, but now, Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman has given the carnivorous animal a permanent home in the area. He recently installed a massive “Bospolder Fox” that peers over a busy intersection in the neighborhood. Spanning 16 meters, the fox holds a pink bag in its mouth, a gesture that anthropomorphizes the wild animal, as Hofman asks, “Has the Bospolder Fox stolen something? Is he clearing up litter? Or has he just returned from a shopping spree on the market?”

While the sculptural installation juxtaposes the natural world and urban landscapes, it also serves as a reminder to residents to be welcoming, although many “have developed a certain fondness for the feral intruders,” the artist said in a statement.

The fox is an interloper, a colorful and gracious nocturnal animal that imparts a romantic twist to this story; and romanticism is a longing familiar to newcomers in the city. The inhabitants of Rotterdam come mostly from elsewhere, and they, like the fox, seek a better life in the city. Rotterdam must, therefore, keep its gates open to nature, to newcomers, and to new perspectives.

Similar to the artist’s previous projects, “Bospolder Fox” was designed to allow children to play in between its paws and serve as a sort of shelter. The animal’s vibrant fur stands out against the gray concrete underneath and nondescript building nearby, further magnifying the disparate qualities of the organic and human-made. “The nocturnal creature on velvet paws does not belong in a neat little park but sneaks through the shadowy crevices of the city,” Hofman said.

This public project is part of the artist’s series of sculptural essays, or artworks that should be read as three-dimensional narratives. Keep an eye out for upcoming installations, like this massive panda, on Instagram. (via designboom)

 

 

 



Design

Four Adorable Prairie Dogs Peek Out of Kinetic Sculpture Constructed with LEGO

June 1, 2020

Grace Ebert

Designers Jason and Kristal Allemann, of JK Brickworks (previously), understand that prairie dogs have a tendency to scramble into their burrows at first sight of a threat, so the two LEGO enthusiasts have designed a kinetic sculpture that captures the rodents’ most endearing actions while above ground. The articulate animals are shown popping out of their holes, checking for predators in the distance, and wagging their black-tipped tails on a grassy platform constructed with the iconic building blocks.

The duo shares full parts lists and instructions for how to create the animals and their burrow on YouTube. Keep up with their dynamic projects on Instagram.

 

 

 

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