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Art

Meditative Faces Emerge from the Staggered Wooden Sticks Forming Artist Gil Bruvel's Sculptures

September 17, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Breathe” (2020). All images © Gil Bruvel, shared with permission

Gil Bruvel (previously) has spent 40 years practicing vipassanā meditation, an introspective practice that invites judgment-free observation of the mind. The Australia-born artist infuses the philosophies of this decades-long ritual into his variegated sculptures as he forms a series of faces in deep thought. With eyes and mouths closed, the figures project serenity and calmness, serving as “a reminder of what it looks like to be centered and at peace,” Bruvel says of The Mask Series.

Different in shape and size, the sticks are burned, painted with subtle gradients, and then held in place with wood glue, causing the figures to appear pixelated and as a disparate grouping of squares and rectangles when viewed up close. From a distance, however, “that fragmentation reveals a coherent whole: a face arises from apparent chaos,” Bruvel shares with Colossal. Through their collated forms, the assemblages offer a visual metaphor for the complexity and contradiction that’s inherent to human beings.

Bruvel also draws attention to the backs of the sculptures, which stray from the figurative depictions of the front to focus on the abstract workings of the mind.  “The assemblage of pixel-like stick-ends conveys the hidden realm of emotion, sensation, and thought—our internal universe. The gradients of color represent the flows of feeling and consciousness that pass through our minds like ripples on a lake, leaving the lake unchanged,” he says.

Explore more of Bruvel’s meditative artworks and see some works-in-progress on Instagram and Artsy.

 

“Floating” (2019), burnt wooden sticks and acrylic paint, 24 × 21 inches

“Mask #28” (2020), wood and paint, 16 × 16 × 9 inches

“The Fountain” (2019), wood and paint, 27 × 19 × 23 inches

“The Fountain” (2019), wood and paint, 27 × 19 × 23 inches

“Moonlight” (2019), wood and paint, 22 × 22 × 21 inches

“Moonlight” (2019), wood and paint, 22 × 22 × 21 inches

“Mask #22” (2020), wood and paint, 16 × 16 × 9 inches

“Mask #26” (2020), wood and paint, 16 × 16 × 9 inches

“Breathe” (2020)

 

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Craft

Quirky Characters Anthropomorphize Patterned, Pastel Vases by Ceramicist Sandra Apperloo

September 9, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Sandra Apperloo, shared with permission

Sandra Apperloo infuses her love for pastels and tiny freckles into a playful crew of characters. Shaped to hold a single flower stem, the anthropomorphized vases display a range of emotions and together, form a series humorously named Weirdo Bud Vases. Their lengthy bodies are covered in polka dots, floral motifs, and stripes, and while some stand straight up, others twist around a similarly dressed figure. “I hope my works make people laugh and daydream. I hope they distract from daily businesses, leave warm feelings, and tickle imaginations,” she writes.

Based in the city of Utrecht in the Netherlands, Apperloo works under the moniker The Pottery Parade and creates planters, mugs, bowls, and other vessels through a mix of hand-building and wheel-based techniques. She doesn’t plan each piece in advance, instead favoring a method that involves “finding what feels good at that moment. This is the case for every part of the process: shaping, sculpting, choosing the colors, and painting the patterns. It helps me to stay open-minded and try out new things, which I feel is really important in my work,” she says.

To snag one of her pieces, which includes a forthcoming series of holiday ornaments, follow Apperloo on Instagram, where she often shares announcements about shop updates.

 

 

 



Art Craft

Rosy, Voluptuous Lips and Moody Faces Enliven Ceramic Vessels by Artist Tatiana Cardona

July 2, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Tatiana Cardona, shared with permission

Tatiana Cardona’s ceramic planters, mugs, and vases might pucker up for a kiss but their lips will never tell. The Miami-based artist, who runs the shop Female Alchemy, creates playful vessels featuring pursed lips lined in reds and pinks and minimal faces with moody expressions. “The concept of lips was inspired by the feminist movement in the ’60s-’70s where red lipstick stood as a symbol of protest. The work has since then evolved into a positive and fun way to promote femininity in a sacred and ancient medium such as ceramics,” she writes in a statement.

Cardona tells Colossal she hopes that her work evolves beyond the solitary vessels into “a space where female creativity is encouraged and nurtured.” The artist will release her next collection Summer of Love on Instagram and has some sticker packs available in her shop.

 

 

 



Art Craft

Watercolor Paper Transforms into Suggestive Facial Sculptures by Artist Polly Verity

March 11, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Polly Verity, shared with permission

Polly Verity’s most recent paper sculptures test viewers’ sense of pareidolia. The dexterous artist employs single sheets of watercolor paper for her minimalist projects that morph into solitary faces and kissing figures through a series of bends and twists.

Verity tells Colossal that she’s been crafting repeating geometric patterns for about 15 years, but that it wasn’t until recently that she decided to move beyond crisp folds and clean lines. “When I hit the curved folds that’s when my brain popped. Seemingly impossible things could happen to a sheet of paper,” she writes. “My years of observing and investigating how curve folds behave has given me a feel for bringing the curves into the figurative realm.” The result is a suggestive series of facial profiles sometimes sucking on a straw or smoking a cigarette.

I tried to fold along the profile of a face, and I realized that I could tweak the paper on either side just very slightly and ease curves out to give volume and form. When I tried the same technique in watercolour paper, I suddenly had micro-control over the resulting curved forms and they became soft and sensual. So each face goes on to inform the next and they have become a sort of series.

Keep up with Verity’s paper creations on Instagram and check out which alluring pieces you can add to your own collection in her shop.

 

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Craft

Faces Emerge from Minimalist Ceramics by Fan Yanting to Consider Emotional Depth

February 21, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Fan Yanting

Just like a recent study reporting that facial expressions are more complex than we think, Fan Yanting wants to delve into the sentiment behind the scowl or smirk on a stranger’s face. The Taiwanese artist shapes small vessels and dinnerware in neutral tones that don a series of emotions, from an unsmiling vase to a set of defensive mugs. Only starting to create ceramics during the last year, Fan hand-sculpts each set of eyes, nose, and mouth without deciding which emotion he’s trying to capture beforehand. “I empty my mind when I’m sculpting the human faces. I might plan the pottery shape and maybe where I’d like to position the face, but I don’t start with specific character designs in mind,” the artist tells Neocha.

Fan’s focus on expressions derives from how he sees human relationships, saying people often respond to those around them by projecting their own understandings of what a facial expression signifies. “Maybe a face will remind someone of an old friend, a family member, or the coffee shop owner down the street. By leading viewers to experience everyday items that have different faces, I hope to explore this phenomenon in my work,” the artist says. To see which emotion pops up next, head to Instagram. (via Lustik)

 

 



Art

Ceramic Head Sculptures by En Iwamura Explore Philosophies of Movement and Space

December 29, 2019

Andrew LaSane

All images © En Iwamura

Japanese artist En Iwamura creates large ceramic sculptures of heads with minimalist facial features. Holes and slits reference eyes and mouths on the oddly-shaped forms, while uniform grooves traverse the clay surfaces in complex patterns. With site-responsive installations, the artist introduces viewers to the Japanese philosophy of Ma⁠—the relationship between viewers, objects, and negative space⁠—and gives them the opportunity to experience it first-hand.

Born in Kyoto to artist parents, Iwamura studied at Kanazawa College of Craft and Art where he earned MFA and BFA in Crafts/Ceramics. In 2013, he traveled to the United States to study at Clemson University and was later invited to give artist talks and lead workshops in New Hampshire and Montana. Through lectures, his artistic practice, and exhibitions with New York-based Ross + Kramer Gallery, Iwamura has explored ways of altering audience experiences while introducing them to the uniquely Japanese concept of Ma. “People constantly read and measure different Ma between themselves,” the artist said in a statement, “and finding the proper or comfortable Ma between people or places can provide a specific relationship at a given moment.”

Watch a video of Iwamura’s texturing technique here and follow the artist on Instagram to see more expressive characters in various stages of the creation process.