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Art

Animated by Wind, Theo Jansen’s ‘Strandbeest’ Sculptures Have Evolved into Flying Creatures

April 18, 2022

Grace Ebert

Each spring, a fledgling creature waddles, wriggles, or slithers across a Dutch beach. The sculptural animals are known as Strandbeests and are part of a growing menagerie by artist Theo Jansen (previously), who’s been constructing large-scale, kinetic beings powered entirely by the wind since 1990. Jansen unleashes the skeletal works—which weigh around 180 kilograms and use 2,000 to 3,000 meters of PVC pipe—in the early part of the year and uses the summer months to tweak their function so that they better withstand the sand, water, and other elements. By fall, the creatures have fully developed and scurry across the beach with quick, sometimes undulating motion.

Jansen recently compiled a collection of his works in the video above, which chronicles the Strandbeest evolution during the past few years. The montage encapsulates earlier forms carrying massive sails, caterpillar-like critters, and now, winged creatures that fly feet above the ground and is evidence of the artist’s decades-long dedication to developing the lifelike works.

A survey of Jansen’s Strandbeests runs through July 3 at Kuntsmuseum Den Haag, and Hannibal Books released a catalog to coincide with the exhibition. Explore more of the artist’s practice and elaborately built animal kingdom on his site and YouTube.

 

“Animaris Umerus, Scheveningen” (2009). Photo by Loek van der Klis

“Animaris Percipiere Rectus, IJmuiden” (2005). Photo by Loek van der Klis

“Animaris Mulus, Silent Beach” (The Hague, 2018)

“Animaris Omnia, Silent Beach” (The Hague, 2019)

“Uros Kirn Ader, Noorderstrand Scheveningen” (2021)

 

 



Craft

Vintage Objects and Driftwood Form Minimal Animal Sculptures and Quaint Seaside Scenes

November 10, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Kirtsy Elson, shared with permission

From hunks of driftwood and tins with chipped paint, Kirsty Elson (previously) assembles minimal sculptures of animals, homes, and methods of transportation. The Cornwall-based artist highlights the raw simplicity of her found objects and lets the materials drive the works, manipulating cragged planks or bent hooks just slightly to achieve their intended forms. Presenting her sculptures as full scenes or single creatures, Elson transforms boxes displaying vintage logos into a fleet of trucks, an oil can into a friendly cat, and rusty nails into sailboat masts. She plans to release new pieces on Etsy on November 11, and you can follow future shop updates on Instagram.

 

 

 



Photography

A Colorful Macro Photo of Beach Sand Reveals Infinitesimal Fragments of Coral, Quartz, Shells, and Plastic

July 29, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Macrofying, shared with permission

A stunning macro image by Ole Bielfeldt lays out the individual elements that comprise a dusting of sand from a Mallorca beach, revealing a piece of microplastic embedded within the colorful composition. “Although to the naked eye this looks like very clean natural sand, pieces of microplastic, as seen in the last image, can be found when viewed under the microscope,” says the Cologne-based photographer, who works as Macrofying. The prevalence of the tiny pollutants is especially high on Mediterranean coasts, meaning seemingly pristine beaches comprised of quartz, seashells, and coral debris are often riddled with the manufactured material.

Bielfeldt is known for zooming in on the otherwise unseen details of common goods and natural substances, which he shares in an extensive archive on Instagram and YouTube. “My work has definitely shaped my view on everyday objects. After exploring so many different samples, you get a new feeling for your environment and start to understand how some things work. There’s a complete and amazing little universe hidden right before our eyes,” he says. (via Twisted Sifter)

 

 

 



Photography

Black-and-White Photos by Daniel Tjongari Frame the Dramatic Landscape of Indonesia’s Sawarna Beach

April 2, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Daniel Tjongari, shared with permission

Between 2015 and 2019, Indonesian photographer Daniel Tjongari made multiple treks to a complex of white sand beaches that sit adjacent to the Indian Ocean. He wanted to capture the fluctuating coastal area over time, a project that resulted in a series of dramatic, ethereal images highlighting the beauty of the region. Through monochromatic shots—he shares photographer Elliot Erwitt’s understanding that “color is destructive. Black-and-white is interpretative”—Tjongari frames the rocky expanses and waterfalls of Sawarna Beach in various states, whether shrouded in thick fog or experiencing a brief moment of calm.

Tjongari is a SONY Alpha Professional Photographer for SONY INDONESIA. He recently traveled to White Crater in West Java Province to shoot a new series, which he’ll be sharing soon on Behance and Instagram.

 

 

 



Animation

Towels: An Animated Battle for Beach Real Estate Serves as a Metaphor for Rising Global Tension

August 27, 2020

Christopher Jobson

In her animated short “Towels,” Prawta Annez explores her frustration and concern with global tensions as a rollicking ocean-side battle for prime towel space. While fairly light-hearted and comedic, the film was conceived during the political climate of 2017 and might as well use Ghandi’s famous quote “an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind” as a thesis. “I hope this short can be 4 minutes of fun and escapism for anyone who watches it, no matter where they may be or whatever they may be going through,” Annez shares. If you like this, also check out Norman McLaren’s famous 1952 Academy Award-winning short “Neighbours” that evokes parallels with the Cold War crisis. (via Short of the Week)

 

 

 



Photography

Aerial Photographs of Vast Ocean Landscapes by Tobias Hägg Observe Earth’s Propensity for Change

February 27, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Tobias Hägg, shared with permission

Photographing the jewel-toned waters jutting up against beaches and the salt-speckled lagoons, Tobias Hägg frames some of Earth’s most striking landscapes. Based in Stockholm, he captures nature’s movement and the inevitability of change within environments, offering a broader look by shooting from above. Hägg often features ocean waters as they ripple, slosh, and crash into the land, although he also documents trees as they transform at the beginning of autumn, showing a thick forest full of orange hues. “I find pleasure in the most simple scenes. In a way, I think it defines me,” the photographer wrote on Instagram. To see more of Hägg’s stunning aerial shots or to add one to your collection, head to his site.