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Art

Humorous Digital Collages by Les Creatonautes Give Edible Objects Animalistic Additions

September 14, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

A garlic-bodied bird, alligator-shaped brie, and winged salt shaker have all come out of the imaginative mind of French creative agency Les Creatonautes. This past year they have created a series of digital collages that combine sporting goods, animals, and edible objects. The project is a subtle gesture to our changing world, showcasing the evolution of society through absurd combinations and impractical animals.

“The world is in permanent change, it is in a transformation,” said Olivier Grossmann of Les Creatonautes to Colossal. “This transformation, often invisible, sometimes unexpected, is inevitable. Living organisms, landscapes, technologies, societies: everything changes constantly, at different rates. From this observation we decided to transform the world in our own way.”

The group started the project on January 1st, 2018 and has been publishing “transformations” each day since. You can see more of the oddball explorations on their Instagram.

 

 



Science

These Sneaky Sea Slugs Paralyze Their Predators With Stolen “Weapons”

August 30, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Nudibranchs, or sea slugs, and are group of wildly colored animals that use their striking forms to warn predators against attack. Although the sea slugs move slow, they are protected by a brilliant defense mechanism. Some species create an alarming defense by stealing “weapons” from another creature called a hydroid. These plant-like animals may appear like seaweed, but they are actually a jellyfish relative covered in stingers packed with a paralyzing venom.

Instead of being repelled by the dangerous tentacles covering the hydroids’ bodies, nudibranchs devour them. Once swallowed, some of the immature stingers are passed directly into their digestion system and are stored in their spikes. If a sea slug feels threatened, these stingers are deployed for an overwhelming punch of stolen venom. For more information on nudibranchs and their sneaky defense system, view this article from KQED Deep Look. (via The Kid Should See This)

A nudibranch devouring a hydroid

 

 



Art

Life-Size Animals Emerge from Persian Rugs in Perception-Defying Sculptures by Debbie Lawson

August 7, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

“Red Bear”

British sculptor Debbie Lawson works in the space between two and three dimensions, forming wild animals that emerge from old-fashioned rugs. The artist builds her animals from scratch, using chicken wire and masking tape, and then covers them with identical or near-identical Persian carpets to create the illusion that the creature is fused with the hanging rug.

Lawson explains to Colossal, “I have always ‘accidentally’ spotted images in patterns, on textured walls and floors made of wood or lino – any material really. It’s an obsession that I decided to explore in the studio, using first wood grain and then carpet to make work in which the pattern morphed into an actual image or form…More recently I have focussed on animal forms to explore the idea of camouflage, and of its opposite: display.”

Red Bear is on display until August 19 2018 at the Royal Academy of Arts in London as part of the 250th Summer Exhibition curated by Grayson Perry. Persian bear is permanently displayed (along with a moose in the same style) at London’s Town Hall Hotel. You can see more of Lawson’s finished works and take peeks into her studio process on Instagram. (via Hi-Fructose)

“Red Bear Head”

“White Stag”

“Red Bear Head” and “White Stag” (detail)

“Persian Bear”

 

 



Art

New Furry Collages Stretch and Distort Famous Cats and Canines

August 2, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

We just recently covered a new set of collages by Lola Dupre (previously), but couldn’t resist sharing her latest series of stretched and distorted animals. Dupre began focusing on cats and dogs after creating several works based on her own pet Charlie, who appears again in this new series. The Scotland-based artist also created collages based on Instagram-famous pets such as @hosico_cat and @mywhiskeygirl. She hopes to expand the furry series, eventually including a selection of raccoons, foxes, sheep, opossums, and more. You can purchase an original collage on her website, and follow along with the new series on tumblrInstagram, and Behance.

 

 



Amazing Photography

A Mother Duck and Her Extraordinary Brood of 76 Ducklings Photographed in a Minnesota Lake

August 1, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

All images © Brent Cizek

Minnesota-based wildlife photographer Brent Cizek was headed back to shore before a summer storm when he spotted the common merganser he would later nickname “Momma Merganser.” At first the mother duck was being followed by a brood of more than 50 fluffy ducklings, however when spotted the group again, the total had grown to 76.

“I happened to find this group of mergansers purely by luck, but I was absolutely amazed by what I saw,” Cizek tells Colossal. “At the time I didn’t know anything about the species, so I wasn’t sure if what I witnessed was a common occurrence or something out of the ordinary. All I knew was that I had never seen anything like that before.”

The scene is extraordinary indeed. Although the aquatic birds are known to lay their eggs in the nests of other ducks, a female duck can only incubate 20 at any given time explains Kenn Kaufman, field editor for AudubonIt is most likely that several dozen of the ducklings lost their mothers and were adopted into Momma Merganser’s own brood.

Cizek plans to continue following the extra large family, and posts his findings to on Instagram. To learn more about merganser habits, read the National Audubon Society’s piece on the surprising spectacle. (via Laughing Squid)

 

 



Art Craft

Bubble-Covered Flowers and Ornate Animals Formed From Cut Paper by Pippa Dyrlaga

August 1, 2018

Andrew LaSane

All images © Pippa Dyrlaga

The most basic instrument in the hands of a master can produce awe-inspiring results. For Yorkshire-based artist and printmaker Pippa Dyrlaga (previously), that instrument is a common blade handle equipped with fine point blades. The resulting works of art are incredibly detailed paper cuts of plants, animals, and abstract designs with hand-replicated patterns and variations in line width that give them dimensionality and bring the flat images to life.

Pippa only began paper cutting in 2010, a year before completing her Masters degree in Art and Design and Curation at Leeds Metropolitan University. On finding inspiration and imagery that would work well for her style and craft, Pippa tells Colossal that ideas tend to flow from her surroundings and from other projects. “Most of the time one piece will lead to another, but I sometimes get an idea that I just want to try out, something I have been thinking of for a while. I have always lived in quite inspiring and green places, filled with local wildlife and flora, and much of my inspiration stems from being outside and enjoying it, and feeling like a part of it.”

While all of her pieces are meticulous, Pippa says that apart from a basic layout sketch, not a lot goes into the planning phase. “I prefer the pieces where I work on the design as I am cutting them out! I will have a detail or a general idea of what I want it to look like in my head, and I will create the full image whilst I am working on it, in smaller sections, so it develops quite organically.” For larger pieces that do require some planning, she will sometimes make smaller versions first to see how the details will work. “I quite like not knowing what it will look like until its finished,” she tells Colossal.

As for how those details are achieved, Pippa assured us that the blades and handle are the main weapons in her arsenal. “Papercutting doesn’t require anything fancy,” she said. “The tools are as simple as the medium. The rest is practice!” She does, however, have personal preferences when it comes to the paper she cuts (good quality, acid-free, and from sustainable sources), and there are a few measures taken to ensure that the works stay flat, dry, and away from the harsh sun. “Paper cuts are surprisingly strong,” Pippa said, “but they can’t take much damage so they do have to be handled and stored safely, just like any paper.”

To see more of Pippa Dyrlaga’s work, follow her on Instagram.

 

 



Art Design Illustration

A Pop-Up Homage to Caspar Henderson’s Book of Barely Imagined Beings by Maria Chernakova

July 30, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Russian designer Maria Chernakova, who uses Mary Komary as her professional name, created a unique pop-up interpretation of one of her favorite books. The original beloved tome by Caspar Henderson, titled The Book of Barely Imagined Beings, is a comprehensive guide to the natural history of real animals that are so fantastic they seem to be a product of mythology. In Chernakova’s imaginative interpretation, pop-ups, hand-drawn illustrations, and charts and diagrams depict charming aquatic animals from the nautilus to the axolotl. She created just one copy of the book, which is divided into two volumes and contains a total of ten pop-up structures. You can see more of the St. Petersburg-based designer’s commercial and personal work on Behance and Instagram.