Sorrowful Sculptures Designed in a Three-Part Collaboration Meditate on Life, Loss, and Regeneration
In a limited edition of 12 new sculptures created in a unique three part collaboration, weeping women mourn a decomposing figure. The cast white figures, partially collapsed in a kneeling pose, embrace amorphous forms that ooze and drip. Countering the somber tone of each sculpture, colorful coral and mushroom-like shapes grow from the decomposition, uniting life and death and forging new growth from the loss.
To create this body of work, sculptor Stéphanie Kilgast (previously) partnered with illustrator Miles Johnston (previously) who conceptualized the base sculpture, and multi-disciplinary production facilitator MoonCrane Press who created the cast.
In a statement on the collaborative project, Kilgast explained that “I added life with my mushrooms, because, whatever happens, life always keeps going. Even if it’s just on a bacterial level. Another way of seeing this sculpture is to see the woman crying not over a human being but over the 6th mass extinction of nature that is currently happening.”
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Textile artist Amanda Browder collaborates with the communities she’s working in to built site-specific architectural interventions. Using hundreds of yards of donated fabric with bright colors and patterns, Browder and her volunteer teams stitch together enormous panels that resemble crazy quilts. The panels wrap around bell towers, sheath elevated walkways, and drape from gables and eaves to give passersby a new experience of familiar buildings. In a statement on her website, Browder describes her work:
A state of betweenness – ‘twixt soft sculpture /’tween orchestrated public object installation with a studio affinity for abstraction and minimalism”. I am in love with the transformative nature of materials, and how the combination of the familiar creates abstract relationships about place. This relational objectivity generates an open-ended narrative, ambiguous situations defined by the choice of materials and work ethic. Central to the psychedelic experience, I am drawn to reinventing Pop-Art colors by exploring shifts in scale and sculptural perceptions.
The Montana-born artist received a B.A. in studio arts as well as two master’s degrees in sculpture and installation art. Browder is now based in Brooklyn and frequently travels to create new work. She was recently awarded an opportunity with the prestigious ArtPrize organization in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The multi-part work, titled Kaleidoscopic, is currently on view at locations around Grand Rapids. Keep up with Browder’s projects on Instagram, and watch the video below for a time-lapse of a previous installation in Las Vegas and an interview with the artist.
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Two Collaborative Murals by Pat Perry and Local Schoolchildren Connect Communities in Iraq and Maine
Detroit-based artist Pat Perry (previously) travels widely to create drawings, paintings, and murals inspired by the diverse cultures and landscapes of different parts of the world, often with an eye toward forgotten or marginalized people and places. Partnering with aptART and the Good Works Foundation, Perry’s most recent project took him to Maine and Iraqi Kurdistan, where he collaboratively designed and painted a pair of murals with local schoolchildren. The two fifth grade classes, located over 5,600 miles apart in Biddeford and Slemani, got to know each other by exchanging videos and artwork. They then assisted Perry with painting their own messages on the new murals.
The resulting project, OPENING LINES, depicts a child in each mural holding a red telephone. Because their backs are turned, the viewer can imagine whether each subject is speaking or listening. Surrounding each figure are doodles and messages written in both English and Arabic by Perry’s young collaborators. Samantha Robison of aptART tells Colossal, “With cultural overlap across the globe unavoidable, the peril of stereotype can be lessened by individual, personal acquaintances across borders; a literal face rather than an idea of one. The most integral part of equality is providing platforms for people to speak, to create, to be listened to.”
The video below offers a glimpse behind the scenes of OPENING LINES. You can follow along with aptART’s youth programming on Instagram and explore more of Perry’s wide-ranging humanist work (including limited edition prints) on his website and Instagram.
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An animated music video for Meg Myers’ cover of a Kate Bush song brings kid’s coloring books to life. Director Jo Roy first filmed Myers on a green screen, performing the crawling, climbing, and flying shown in the music video (see behind-the-scenes below). Then, each of the 3,202 frames was printed off as a black and white coloring book page. Elementary school-aged children from ten schools and an art program in the U.S. and Canada colored the pages however they wanted, with a provided crayon color palette.
Over 2,100 kids contributed to the resulting animation, which features Myers exploring the universe as a metamorphosing moth. Within the provided black contour lines, scribbled-in tulips and imaginatively shaded planets form the backdrop for the singer’s winged journey. You can see more of Roy’s directorial and dance work on her website, and listen to Meg Myers on Soundcloud. (via Colossal Submissions)
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It’s not uncommon to see, in any situation from a museum to a public park to see both amateur and professional photographers capturing moments using technology ranging from sleek smartphones to cumbersome lenses. Less common is the sight of a photographer shooting with a loaf of bread, mannequin, or shed.
U.K.-based artist Brendan Barry painstakingly transforms these banal materials into film cameras, which result in surprisingly beautiful photographs. Barry explores a variety of camera styles including pinhole, 35mm, and ultra large format. In a statement on his website, the artist explains that he uses “the mechanics of photography as a tool for exploration and collaboration,” often traveling to work with different communities and particularly with young people. Barry is the founder and director of Positive Light Projects, a non-profit that works with diverse audiences and emerging photographers to help empower their practice. He also teaches at the Exeter School of Art.
You can see more of Barry’s work on his website, where he documents the process of building his cameras. The artist also shares many of the resulting photographs from his collaborative cameras on Instagram.
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Pejac (previously) recently spent some time inside one of the oldest continuously running prisons in Spain. The prison, El Dueso, is a hulking structure built on the ruins of Napoleon’s fortress. True to his efforts to create and place his work in unusual settings and initiate conversations about unpopular subjects, the Gold Mine project resulted in three interventions that the artist realized in collaboration with inmates. “A prison itself is a place wrapped in harsh reality,” Pejac explained. The artist continues, “At the same time, I feel that it has a great surrealist charge. It is as if you only need to scratch a little on its walls to discover the poetry hidden inside.”
Making a connection between the sterile isolation inside and the lush nature surrounding the facility, the biggest and arguably most striking piece is an immense tree, a metaphor of ultimate, unspoiled freedom. The Shape of Days serves as a monument to the most cherished virtue: perseverance. It is entirely built from countless hash marks that reference an age-old method of keeping track of time away from the real world. Making an analogy between the tree leaves as the symbol of growth and marks as the symbol of extreme restraint, the majestic image captures the passage of time while providing hope.
Placed in a sterile, newly built corridor that connects the cells and outdoor areas, Hollow Walls is a poetic illusion of sliding doors made from the blank concrete walls. Through minimal artistic intervention, the artist added a sense of depth and perspective, creating a distraction for those walking along these walls daily. Once again using one of his most recurring images, a soaring bird, Pejac created an atmosphere of reachable yet fictional freedom.
The final piece, Hidden Value, also uses an element that artist has introduced in his previous work: a peeled off corner of an existing object suggesting an alternative reality. Working with people whose everyday life is stripped of life’s basic pleasures, Pejac wanted to provide some sense of luxury to the basic and highly restricted routine of the inmates. Using real 22-carat gold leaf and a trompe l’oeil technique he’s used before, he created an illusion of the basketball board revealing a large gold plate under its familiar surface. Challenged by taking everyday items and creating an alternative reality around them, the artist explored the previously mentioned idea of scratching under the surface and discovering that “sometimes, it is gold that does not shine.”
Explore more of Pejac’s thought-provoking work, ranging from site-specific installations to gallery pieces, on Instagram.
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Editor's Picks: Photography
Highlights below. For the full collection click here.