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Art

A Flurry of Feathers and Leaves Surround Spirited Birds in Fio Silva's Vivid Murals

March 5, 2021

Grace Ebert

Castelar, Buenos Aires. All images @ Fio Silva, shared with permission

Fio Silva tucks clusters of oversized birds and botanicals into otherwise stark urban spaces, creating striking murals awash in puffs of feathers, petals, and leaves. The Buenos Aires-based artist focuses largely on movement, a thread that runs through both the vivid renderings of winged subjects as they appear to take flight or perch for just a moment. “It was that lack of stillness through work and searching for walls to paint that I found meaning in my time,” Silva tells Colossal.

When working in color, the artist starts with blues, yellows, and reds before expanding the palette based on the “moods and to intensify, in some way, what I want to convey, if it is something rather clear, bright, or something… more subdued or desolate,” Silva says. “When I paint, I try to convey a certain force, that by seeing it or sharing it I can move someone, in whatever way.”

Silva plans to complete a few murals in Argentina during the next few months and will travel to Europe during the summer, with an exhibition of smaller paintings slated for October in Paris. Keep up with the artist’s monumental public works on Instagram.

 

Olivos, Buenos Aires

General Roca, Rio Negro

Olivos, Buenos Aires

Left: Berlin, Germany. Right: Belsh, Albania

General Roca, Rio Negro

Patos, Albania

Patos, Albania

 

 



Art

Plants Embedded in Wax Sprout from Fragile Hands in Memory-Infused Works by Valerie Hammond

March 2, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Valerie Hammond, shared with permission

In Valerie Hammond’s series of wax drawings, protection is two-fold: the artist (previously) encases dried flowers and ferns in a thin layer of wax, preserving their fragile tissues long after they’ve been plucked from the ground. In outlining a pair of hands, she also secures a memory, or rather, “the essence of a gesture and the fleeting moment in which it was made.”

Centered on limbs lying flat on Japanese paper, the ongoing series dates back to the 1990s, when Hammond made the first tracing “partly in response to the death of a dear friend, whose beautiful hands I often found myself remembering.” She continued by working with family and friends, mainly women and children, to delineate their wrists, palms, and fingers. Today, the series features dozens of works that are comprised of either hands tethered to the dried botanics, which sprout outward in wispy tendrils, or others overlayed with thread and glass beads.

Although the delicate pieces began as a simple trace, Hammond shares that she soon began to overlay the original drawing with pressed florals, creating encaustic assemblages that “echoed the body’s bones, veins, and circulatory systems.” She continued to experiment with the series by introducing various techniques, including printmaking, Xerox transfers, and finally Photoshop inversions, that distorted the original rendering and shifted her practice. Hammond explains:

The works suddenly inhabited a space I had been searching for, straddling the indefinable boundary between presence and absence, material and immaterial, consciousness and the unconscious. For me, they became emblematic not only of the people whose hands I had traced but of my own evolving artistic process—testimony to the passing of time and the quiet dissolution of memory.

Hammond’s work recently was included in a group show at Leila Heller Gallery. Her practice spans multiple mediums including collage, drawing, and sculpture, all of which you can explore on her site and Instagram.

 

 

 



Photography

Sheets of Frosted Glass Obscure Floral Bouquets in a Photographic Series About Ambiguity

February 26, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Studio Lernert & Sander

Exuding elegance and obscurity, Foggy Flowers is a two-photograph series by Sander Plug and Lernert Engelberts that centers on our collective outlook for the future through a blur of frosted glass. The duo, who work under Studio Lernert & Sander, unearthed the delicate shots from their archive—the images were taken in 2018 during a week-long period when they worked continuously on various projects—in May 2020 for Volkskrant Magazine, which asked them to epitomize their creative process during lockdown.

They didn’t want “to jump on the ‘look how very creative we are during this lockdown’ train,” Plug says, and despite their anachronistic context, the two-year-old series fit the studio’s perspective. “When I look back, I see that the blurry and fuzzy flowers are about ambiguity,” he writes. “It symbolizes the way we looked to the future then and how everyone sees the future now. There’s no point in worrying because no one can say how things will turn out now.”

Based in Amsterdam, Plug and Engelberts have been collaborating for about a decade, creating a variety of commercial photography and film projects. A few limited-edition C-prints of the blurred bouquets are still available on their site, and head to Instagram to explore more of their work that ranges from documentaries to animal portraiture to installations filled with cubed cheese. (via Iain Claridge)

 

 

 



Craft

Endangered Flora and Fauna Are Recreated in Textured Paper Sculptures by Mlle Hipolyte

February 4, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Mlle Hipolyte, shared with permission

From her studio in Lyon, Mlle Hipolyte scores, crimps, and fringes bits of paper that become sculptural interpretations of endangered species. She undertakes a rigorous research process that’s comparable to that of a botanist or zoologist before starting a piece and largely is concerned with the effects of the climate crisis on plants and animals. This realistic approach bases her practice in both preservation and celebration as she conveys the intricacies and natural beauty of coral reefs, flowers, and birds through works that vary in scale, sometimes spanning entire walls and others squeezing into tiny glass tubes.

Mlle Hipolyte tells Colossal that her next undertaking is a large forest inspired by François Hallé’s botanical drawings, an ongoing project you can follow on Instagram. To add one of the meticulous, textured sculptures to your collection, check out her shop. (via Cross Connect Magazine)

 

 

 



Craft

A Dramatic Bouquet of Paper Flowers Interprets an Ornate Pattern in Three-Dimensions

February 2, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images by Paul Zak, © Makerie Studio, shared with permission

In “Artemis,” artists Julie Wilkinson and Joyanne Horscroft translate the moody, floral pattern of House of Hackney’s wallpaper into a stunning, three-dimensional bouquet. The sculptural work is a tribute to the designer’s classic motif, which has the same name, and took weeks for the duo to render digitally before crafting with jewel-toned and embellished paper. “We just had to pay very close attention to what we saw as the original mood and intention and draw on expanding that feeling,” Horscroft tells Colossal.

The result is a dramatic interpretation that’s crafted with painstaking detail, including thickly layered petals and woven leaves. “To us, each flower head is its own microcosm, with its own set of rules and expression, yet it’s clear they belong in the same universe. They feel like planets in a solar system or different chocolates in a box—and there’s something really appealing about that! Different… but the same,” Horscroft says.

Split between London and Oslo, the duo leads Makerie Studio (previously), which is known for its meticulous commercial, editorial, and creative projects crafted entirely from paper. See more of the pair’s sprawling installations and smaller works on Behance and Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Lush Florals Sprout from Corsets and Dresses in Enchanting Paintings by Artist Amy Laskin

February 2, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Blouse an Skirt!,” oil on linen, 40 x 50 inches. All images © Amy Laskin, shared with permission

Through ethereal oil paintings, artist Amy Laskin juxtaposes decorative fashions and organic beauty. Thick bunches of hydrangeas, lilies, and wispy ferns spring from elaborate, beaded dresses and corsets, which swell into fully formed garments and shroud the works with an unearthly and enchanting aura. Each piece is figurative but non-representational, a decision Laskin shares stems from the idea that “nature is anonymous. She needs no name. She is everything.” 

The artist’s studio is located in the Blue Mountains in Jamaica, the place she’s drawn inspiration from since moving to the island as a Peace Corps volunteer years ago. You can find more of Laskin’s work that’s brimming with the flora native to the region on her site and Artsy.

 

“Grand Stand,” oil on linen, 19.5 X 15.5 inches

“Haute Couture and Mother Nature Marry,” oil on board, 24 X 21 inches

Left: “Up Rooted,” oil on linen, 17 X 14 inches. Right: “Rooted in Her Story,” oil on linen, 17 X 14 inches

“Flora and Furbelow,” oil on linen, 45.5 X 45.5 inches

Left: “Red and Green,” oil on linen, 12 x 12 inches. Right: “Flora’s Duppy,” oil on linen, 40 x 30 inches

“Bodice and Botany,” oil on linen, 40 X 50 inches