flowers

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Science

‘Evolution’ Captures Every Microscopic Detail of Insect and Plant Life as It Unfolds

February 7, 2020

Grace Ebert

Evolution,” directed by French video artist Thomas Blanchard (previously), offers an otherwise undetectable look at the minute movements of natural life. The macro-view project shows the first signs of flowers blossoming, in addition to glimpses of dozens of insect legs scurrying across a crumbling surface and of other bugs bating and catching their prey. Utilizing an array of deeply saturated light sources, Blanchard illuminates vibrant florals as they spread open and insects with glossy bodies, adding artistic nuance to an accurate depiction of nature’s cycles.

Aedan, who produced the time-lapsed video, calls it “an exercise in patience and observation that the master of macro, here (the) director, masters to perfection… The result is a striking spectacle where you can observe life with a new eye.” It was filmed in 8K with a RED Helium camera, using both a Canon 100 millimeter L macro lens and MPE 60 millimeter macro lens, and was edited in 4K. Keep up with Blanchard’s surreal transformations on Vimeo and Instagram.

 

 



Photography

Glass Vessels Skew Florals in Illusory Photographs by Suzanne Saroff

February 5, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Suzanne Saroff, shared with permission

Suzanne Saroff doesn’t mind if her audience has a distorted view of the vibrant flowers and leaves she captures. The New York-based photographer, who’s worked with a long list of clients like Calvin Klein, Glossier, and Prada, is a master of illusion in her tonal images that place florals behind clear glasses of water, skewing their structures in her red, pink, and beige compositions.

Saroff tells Colossal that her latest work revisits elements of distortion she used in previous projects that framed images of bananas, avocados, and fish behind glass vessels filled with water. Since her Perspective series, the photographer says she’s begun to explore “subtle new ways of expressing feelings and emotions through flowers, color, composition, and lighting.” Her more recent project maintains themes of “exploration and play,” although it employs different techniques and aesthetics.

I always have some idea of what I want to shoot—in terms of color, light, subject and composition—but some of my favorite photos come from something raw and in the moment. These photos can take 20 minutes or the entire day—with the distortions I work at and the moving of all of the pieces around until everything feels just right. When I get the photo I know right away. This series is about bringing emotions to creating.

Head to Saroff’s Instagram to see the skewed projects she conceives of next.

 

 



Animation Science

A Verdant Botanical Animation Takes a Macro View of Nature’s Cycles

February 4, 2020

Grace Ebert

Spanning from day to night and from sunshine to rain and wind, “Story of Flowers” shows the various stages of botanical growth and the help plants get along the way. The instructional project—which was illustrated by Katie Scott, animated by James Paulley, and directed by Azuma Makoto—depicts the interconnected networks within an ecosystem, like the organisms underground fertilizing the soil or a bumblebee landing atop and pollinating a pistil. Each stage of the germination process is shot with an enlarged view to magnify roots stretching out, sprouts poking through the ground, and flowers opening up to bloom. As rain falls, the petals drop and plants release their seeds, which then are embedded into the soil, beginning the cycle once again. Head to Instagram to check out more work from Scott, Paulley, and Makoto. (via The Kids Should See This)

 

 



Craft

Oversized Paper Flowers Bloom in Lush Bunches by Marianne Eriksen Scott-Hansen

January 29, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Marianne Eriksen Scott-Hansen, shared with permission

Marianne Eriksen Scott-Hansen doesn’t have to worry about her flowers wilting. She constructs enormous bouquets of tissue paper blossoms featuring countless petals and leaves in color-coordinated bunches. The Copenhagen-based artist tells Colossal that she doesn’t keep track of the pieces of paper or number of hours she spends on her large-scale projects, preferring to focus on creating rather than the actual process of cutting and shaping. Each piece is crafted by hand and without patterns or templates, making every petal, stem, and bit of pollen unique.

Much of Scott-Hansen’s work reflects her childhood in the countryside, anchoring her style in nature and Danish folk art. Heavily rooted in craft, the artist says she works both artistically and intuitively. “It’s all in the hands so to speak. I want to enter into a dialogue with the material. Work my way into it. Exploring rather than ‘mere’ re-working and investigation. (Seeing) how far can you ‘stretch’ paper.” She enjoys using the same material to create various textures, contrasting durable, rough wood and delicate petals.

Thrift, hard work, and industry are required as well, in order for my artworks to grow into something other than the tissue they were. Something must be small before it can be big, humble before it can be flashy—it is the contrast of nature that carries opulence within it and triggers our imagination. In my reworking, the tissue paper roots of the triffid may also become that of the rose.

The artist graduated from The School of Design at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 1995 with a degree in fashion design. Since then, she’s collaborated with a long list of clients including Elle Denmark, Karl Lagerfeld, and Hermès, to name a few. Currently, she’s working on an installation for an international summit planned in Copenhagen in May. See more of Scott-Hansen’s blooming projects on Instagram. (via The Jealous Curator)

 

 



Art

Wildlife, Fruit, and Vines Merge in Surreal Paintings by Nunzio Paci

January 28, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Ivy that dreams of running far” (2019), oil on board, 90 x 60 centimeters. All images © Nunzio Paci, shared with permission

Combining a dense mix of natural elements, Bologna, Italy-based artist  Nunzio Paci (previously) reckons with the fragile line between life and death. Many of his 2019 oil paintings visualize both alert and recumbent animals, often with open eyes, intertwined with each other, leafy vines, and tall flowers. “Let me rest between brome and stones” depicts a dead deer with glazed over eyes lying among tall grasses and prairie flowers. “Blueberry chicken that thinks about tomorrow” has a more literal correlation to its title, featuring a blue- and purple-hued bird with its breast feathers replaced by the similarly colored fruit.

Paci tells Colossal that he hopes this surreal series reflects his “current exploration of the natural world and its connections with the dream sphere, nostalgia, and memory.” He created these pieces during his residency at Lingnan University in Hong Kong.

If you’re in Los Angeles, head downtown to Corey Helford Gallery, where Paci’s work is part of the group exhibition The Influence of Fellini: A Surreal 100th Birthday Celebration until February 29. Otherwise, follow the artist on Instagram.

“Condition of stillness of a nameless cannibalized” (2019), oil on board, 90 x 60 centimeters

“Heart of gerbera” (2019), oil on board, 30 x 45 centimeters

“Blueberry chicken that thinks about tomorrow” (2019), oil on board, 30 x 45 centimeters

“Let me rest between brome and stones” (2019), oil on board, 30.5 x 30.5 centimeters

“Pollination syndrome” (2019), oil on board, 60 x 45 centimeters

“Tulip that confuses tears for dew” (2019), oil on board, 90 x 60 centimeters

“When pheasants learn to fly” (2019), oil on board, 90 x 60 centimeters

 

 



Photography Science

Use ‘Roadside Wildflowers at Full Speed’ to Identify Plants Without Leaving Your Car

January 23, 2020

Grace Ebert

Dames rocket. All images © Chris Helzer, shared with permission

What’s a road trip without checking out the scenery? Chris Helzer, aka The Prairie Ecologist, has put together a new guide for those who want to know a little bit more about the wildflowers they see along the roadside but don’t want to leave their moving vehicles.

What about the silent majority who prefer to experience wildflowers the way General Motors intended – by whizzing past them in a fast, comfortable automobile? How are nature-loving-from-a-distance drivers supposed to learn the names and habits of the wildflowers as they speed blissfully past them at 65 (85?) miles per hour?

A Field Guide to Roadside Wildflowers at Full Speed,” which is available for free download, is a satirical take on the classic handbook that describes the plant, says when it’s in bloom, and gives a hint about where to find it. For Helzer’s project, though, each habitat is listed as “roadsides” and similar flowers tend to include descriptions like “anything yellow.” The photographs identifying each species are blurred to “appear as they actually look when you see them from the road.”

A scientist for The Nature Conservancy in Nebraska, Helzer began his blog in 2009 intending to serve as a resource for people interested in managing and restoring prairies. He tells Colossal he created this parody as a joke for his regular 4,500 readers who come to his site for his wildflower photos.

If you want to take this guide for a spin, be sure to heed Helzer’s warning: “Always use a designated passenger to look up flowers.” (via This Isn’t Happiness)

Butterfly milkweed

Western wallflower

 

 



Art Craft

Magnificently Detailed Porcelain Vessels by Hitomi Hosono Are Blossoming with Hundreds of Flowers, Leaves, and Branches

November 18, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Commission of A Large Dancing Hawthorn Vase” (2019), moulded, carved and hand-built porcelain, 15 3/8 x 17 3/4 inches

Stunning new decorative vessels by Hitomi Hosono layer delicate porcelain flowers and leaves into dimensional forms that appear almost alive. The lavishly embellished bowls and vases feature clusters of finely detailed blossoms, ferns, and stylized tree branches in an aesthetic somewhere between realistic and stylized. In a statement on her gallery’s website, the Japan-born, London-based artist explains that she is inspired by walks in her neighborhood. She closely examines each botanical specimen to create models and moulds, and then hand-carves additional details on each pressed sprig.

Since we last covered Hosono’s work, she has been an Artist in Residence at Wedgwood—the video below takes a look inside the artist’s practice during that time. The London-based artist exhibits widely, and most recently had work on view in “A Natural Selection” at The Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh. Explore much more of Hosono’s work on the Adrian Sasson website, and peek inside her studio practice by following her on Instagram.

“A Nadeshiko and Mangrove Bowl” (2019), moulded, carved and hand-built porcelain, 6 1/8 x 11 3/8 inches

“A Nadeshiko and Mangrove Bowl” detail

“A Very Large Pine Tree Pool” (2019), moulded, carved and hand-built porcelain, 3 1/8 x 16 7/8 inches

“A Very Large Pine Tree Pool” detail

“A Dancing Pine Tree Tower” (2018), Moulded, carved and hand-built porcelain, (L:) 9 7/8 x 8 1/8 inches; (R:) 9 5/8 x 5 3/4 inches

“A Tsubaki and Leaves Bowl” (2018), moulded, carved and hand-built porcelain, 4 1/2 x 13 5/8 inches

“A Small Dancing Sakura and Michikusa Bowl”(2019), moulded, carved and hand-built porcelain, 3 1/8 x 7 5/8 inches

“A Very Large Zenmai Bowl” (2018), moulded, carved and hand-built porcelain with yellow gold leaf interior, 11 x 13 inches

 

 

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