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Art

Fiery Crayon Sculptures and Busts by Herb Williams Confront the Climate Crisis

February 18, 2021

Grace Ebert

“First Fire.” All images © Herb Williams, by Hannah Deits, shared with permission

Herb Williams addresses some of the most pressing issues of our time—uncontrollable fires, hurricanes, and an impending lack of natural resources, to name a few—through an unusually playful medium. The Nashville-based artist creates colorful sculptures and busts from innumerable crayons, assembling textured works that simultaneously display the ubiquitous childhood tool while confronting the ongoing effects of the climate crisis.

Similar to the large-scale flames he created in response to Texas wildfires nearly a decade ago, Williams’ new pieces, like the river-stone-encircled campfire above, are based in collective experience. He writes:

The epic catastrophes, disasters, and pandemic are virtually impossible to navigate as adults, so I am trying to create works that will help children understand and eventually deal, most hopefully solve what we can’t one day. I’m exploring the myths we cling to comfort, deny or manage our way through without losing our collective humanity.

“First Fire” pairs with Three Graces of Climate Change, a trio of figurative sculptures that reinterpret the “Venus de Milo” through the lenses of wildfires, glacial melt, and deforestation. In one piece, bright blazes erupt from the shoulder and hip, and in another, the figure is sliced in two to reveal age rings similar to those of a tree.

Williams currently is working on six sculptures that’ll be on display at Atlanta International Airport. He’s also the curator at Nashville’s Rymer Gallery, where you can find a larger collection of his works.

 

“Venus of Wildfires”

“Venus of Glacial Melt”

“Venus of Deforestation”

 

 



Animation

Autumn Leaves Crackle and Writhe Like a Flame in Short Film by Animator William Crook

June 8, 2020

Anna Marks

In “Stickmatch,” a new short film, a matchstick-like twig lands onto the screen, and with one long strike, it spontaneously ignites flames. These sparks don’t manifest in their usual form, though. The flames are replaced with leaves from various trees that are colored all the hues of autumn, from bright green to amber yellow. 

Created by William Crook, a London-born animator who now lives in Zürich, “Stickmatch” was an undertaking at a residency at Sasso in Italy. The sounds throughout the animation contain a mashup of crackling flames and crispy leaves rustling underneath feet. As the film plays, the miniature leaves dance to the “oxygen” around them, and the little twig becomes shorter and shorter until it’s no more. 

To watch more of Crook’s animated projects, visit Vimeo.

 

 

 



Photography

A Collage of Overlapping Videos Creates a Wild Rube Goldberg-esque Motion Sequence

March 30, 2020

Grace Ebert

Beginning with a man blowing his lips, an impressive compilation by Donato Sansone merges short clips of car crashes, fiery explosions, and punches thrown during a boxing match into a believable series of consequences. Ranging from nature to sports to destructive events, each seconds-long bit appears to lead right into the next in “Concatenation“—seemingly, a rocket launches straight into a pool ball that then causes a diver to jump into the water. A bullet impales a board, prompting two fiery masses in another section.

Head to Vimeo and Tumblr to check out more of Sansone’s sequence-based projects.

 

 



Design

A Cherry Blossom-Inspired Torch Will Kick Off the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

March 21, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Yesterday, on the first day of spring, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics torch was revealed to the public at a press conference in the hosting city. The floral design is inspired by Japan’s cherry blossom, a flower celebrated in festivals across the country each March. Conceptualized by Tokujin Yoshioka, the torch features five petal-shaped cylinders that will each contain a flame, and is constructed from aluminum waste from temporary housing built after the Great East Japan Earthquake.

The materials and blossom concept are meant to reinforce the upcoming Olympic Torch Relay concept, “Hope lights our way,” delivering a message of support and unification as the torch is carried to the New National Stadium for the opening ceremonies. The official relay will be held for 121 days, beginning March 26, 2020, and be passed to 80-90 runners each day. Relay ambassadors for next year’s event include three-time judo Olympic gold medallist Tadahiro Nomura, three-time Paralympian Aki Taguchi, and actress Satomi Ishihara. You can see a 360-degree view of the cherry blossom design in the video below. (via Spoon & Tamago)

 

 



Art

Google Builds a Digital Reproduction of the National Museum of Brazil After its Tragic Destruction

December 28, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

The 13-meter long Titanosaurus

The 13-meter long Titanosaurus

Following a devastating fire this September, Google has released a virtual tour of the National Museum of Brazil, the country’s oldest natural history institution. The digital recreation is presented by Museum View (which uses the same functionality as Google Street View), and allows visitors to explore the institution’s key artifacts as they were displayed before this year’s tragic destruction. The online tour includes a view of Luzia (the oldest skeleton found in the Americas), 3000-year-old Brazilian ceramics, a collection of butterflies and moths currently under threat for extinction, and the museum’s mummified cat.

It’s estimated that the museum lost up to 92.5 percent of its 20 million artifacts in the fire—global relics, pottery, and animal specimens that had been collected by the institution since its founding in 1818. Its digital remains are the result of a collaborative project between the museum and Google, which began in 2016. Despite the horrific loss, the museum’s director Alexander Kellner expresses strength and hope for the institution’s future in a letter in Google’s Arts and Culture section. “It is important to stress that the National Museum, despite having lost a significant part of its collection, has not lost its ability to generate knowledge!”

You can view the full digital archive of the museum in Google’s virtual tour, and learn more about the museum’s history in Kellner’s full letter.  You can view a preview of the collections’s highlights in the video below. (via Artsy)

3000-year-old Brazilian ceramics

3000-year-old Brazilian ceramics

The virtual tour of the National Museum of Brazil on Google.

The virtual tour of the National Museum of Brazil on Google.

One of the largest meteorites in the world

One of the largest meteorites in the world

 

 



Art

Origami Lava Pours from the Window of an Abandoned Building in Catalonia for LLUÈRNIA

November 12, 2018

Christopher Jobson

As part of the recent LLUÈRNIA festival of light and fire in Catalonia, collaborators David Oliva of SP25 Arquitectura and Anna Juncà of Atelier 4 created this spectacular flow of lava using common fortune teller origami figures. Over 10,000 folded pieces of paper were needed to create the work that was illuminated from underneath and further brought to life with smoke machines. Titled simply “Origami Lava,” the piece was affixed to an abandoned building in Olot, a town surrounded by dormant volcanoes. You can see more at SP25 Arquitectura. (via Colossal Submissions)