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Art

Elegant Blooms Float Amid Botanical Watercolor Paintings by Artist Denise Ramsay

May 6, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Denise Ramsay, shared with permission

Based in France, botanical artist Denise Ramsay renders fleshy petals and pollen-heavy stamen in an exquisite series of watercolor paintings. She focuses on the capitulum, or the head of the flower, to give each lavender lady and glory lily an animated quality. “Corona,” shown below, appears as if it’s ready to scuttle across the otherwise empty work.

By painting less common florals, Ramsay tells Colossal that her Alien Nation series centers on the simple lines and shapes found in nature. “(Watercolor) gives me the fluid and transparent washes of color that I need to create the glow of color, light, and shadows to make each flower look like it floats effortlessly in space,” she writes. “My aim is to show them in new and interesting ways, to take a simple ordinary flower and elevate it.” With a background in fashion, Ramsay said she has a love for dramatic lighting that’s reflected in her floral pieces, which can stretch up to 46 inches.

Keep up with the artist’s refined artworks on Instagram, and see which are available for purchase on her site.

“Corona”

“Courtship”

“Fireworks”

Left: “Flight of Passion.” Right: “Flaming Glory”

“I Come in Peace”

 

 



Food

Toast Slices Undergo Edible Makeovers into Rock Gardens, Pantone Swatches, and Flower Beds

April 29, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Manami Sasaki

While many of us slather our toast with butter day-after-day, Manami Sasaki is transforming thick slices of bread into Zen Japanese rock gardens and Pantone swatches that make breakfast into the most jubilant meal of the day. A watercolor artist turned toast connoisseur, the Japanese designer combines the stocks available in her fridge and pantry to assemble delightful bread-based creations.

In a patch of flowers, she adorns a tomato-sauce base with margarine petals and mint leaves that are finished with mustard details. Another dense slice is torn and reassembled with edible gold before being smothered in sour cream and garnished with ketchup to resemble Kintsugi, the Japanese art of pottery repair.

To see the latest in Sasaki’s delightful series of nourishments, follow her on Instagram. You also might like this candy garden. (via Spoon & Tamago)

 

 

 



Art

Porcelain Fauna and Human Anatomy Embedded into Thick Botanical Fields by Artist Melis Buyruk

April 23, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Habitat The Pig” (2019), porcelain, 50 x 50 centimeters. All images © Melis Buyruk, shared with permission

When asked why her porcelain works are unpainted, Turkish artist Melis Buyruk answered that adding color to nature dictates meaning. “I like to avoid using descriptive elements such as color,” she said in an interview about her recent exhibition Habitats at Leila Heller Gallery. “I also prefer to encourage the spectator to immers(e) themselves into the work, and get lost in the details, discovering something new with each viewing. Using color would separate forms more succinctly, and I am interested in non-hierarchical hybridity.”

Based in Istanbul, Buyruk creates monochromatic fields that are concentrated with realistic flowers, succulents, and mosses. Many of the large-scale works span more than four feet and are encased in wooden boxes. The artist discreetly situates a pig, hawk, and bearded dragon, among other birds and rodents, near the center. Look closer, though, and spot human ears and lips.

By embedding animals and anatomy evenly into the botanical topography, Buyruk hopes to dismantle hierarchies of species and reject the idea of human superiority. She also has chosen animals that inspire fearful reactions from people.

Certain animals pose a serious threat to human evolution, which has been engraved in our DNA. We find some animals uncomfortable or frightening because (of) their shape or color, causing us to negatively and incur a ‘flight’ response. I wanted to juxtapose our age-old, biologically rendered fear against our socially conditioned admiration for flowers, and position them together.

Buyruk noted that while quarantined in her home because of the coronavirus pandemic, she’s been thinking about the instability of people’s control over nature. “What we experienced during the pandemic process enabled us to face the weaknesses of the human species again,” she said. For more of the artist’s impeccably detailed habitats, head to Instagram.

“Habitat The Bearded Dragon” (2019), porcelain and 18K gold, 47.24 x 57.09 inches

“Habitat The Bird” (2019), porcelain, 47.24 x 57.09 inches

“Habitat The Hawk” (2019), porcelain, 47.24 x 47.24 inches

“Habitat The Rat 2” (2019), porcelain, 50 x 50 centimeters

“Habitat The Rat” (2019), porcelain, 47.24 x 57.09 inches

“Habitat The Snake” (2019), porcelain and 18k gold, 49.21 x 49.21 inches

“Habitat The Tarantula” (2019), porcelain, 47.2 x 57.1 inches

 

 



Craft

Florals, Beads, and Lace Embellish Whimsical Faux Taxidermy and Anatomical Sculptures

April 21, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Natalia Lubieniecka, shared with permission

Based in Austria, Natalia Lubieniecka scours Vienna’s markets for antique objects, fabrics, and anatomical posters that eventually inform and meld into her peculiar sculptures. Whether it be a blush-colored heart enveloped in florals, a supine frog with exposed entrails, or a deceased bird covered in a lace bodice, her fantastical works speak to the fragile relationship between life and death.

The sculptor tells Colossal that her interest in organs and bodies began after a visit to Naturhistorische Museum Wien, where she encountered taxidermy of birds, insects, and other animals. Her favorite piece, though, is her faux anatomical heart because it pushed her to expand her source material. “I think that human and animal anatomy has something magical about it. Each organ is responsible not only for the functioning of the body, but also for feelings, thoughts, and emotions, and these transport us to another magical dimension,” she said.

Lubieniecka often posts her available pieces on Instagram, but be sure to check out her Etsy shop, too.

 

 



Art Craft

Neon-Illuminated Glass Orchids by Laura Hart Consider the Flowers’ Fragility and Resiliency

April 16, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Orchis Exotica Cattleya Amethyst,” fused and sculpted glass with neon, 44.5 x 47.5 x 17 centimeters. All images © Laura Hart, shared with permission

Made of translucent glass, Laura Hart’s brilliant orchids appear to be the paragon of delicacy: the fleshy petals and neon-illuminated columns are in full bloom, representing a fleeting stage of life that’s modeled with an easily breakable substance. The Suffolk-based artist, though, is more concerned with the floral family’s historical resilience and aptitude for survival.

There are 28,000 known species of orchids, which 100-million-year-old fossil records prove were the first to bloom. “Representing a quarter of the world’s flowering plants, there are four times as many orchid species as there are mammals and twice as many birds,” Hart says. In her newest series, Orchis Exotica—which debuted earlier this year as part of Collect 2020 with Vessel Gallery—the central neon light is a nod to orchids’ efforts to attract necessary pollinators to ensure their survival. These successful strategies prove their adaptability, Hart says, a move she connects to Charles Darwin’s evolutionary theories.

Manacled by religious dogma of his time, he risked a charge of heresy had he cited another organism equally successful in achieving global population through adaptability. Though there is very little anecdotal record of his personal resolve that humans were the ultimate example of his revelatory theory, there can be no doubt he believed it to be so…The bi-coloured neon centres illuminate the uncanny resemblance between orchid and human reproductive organs; a parallel unlikely missed by the great man himself.

Orchis Exotica is an extension of Hart’s previous flowers that had similarly perfect symmetry but lacked the glowing portions. Despite LED lights being simpler to use, Hart tells Colossal she prefers the traditional mechanisms. “Why neon? Well, I am a lover of the light/art form; very much a rarity in itself these days with the advent of LED neon tube usurping traditional glass,” she writes. Constructed with a combination of 3D design software and traditional technique, each piece is hand fused and slumped to create the half-meter-wide flowers. They undergo multiple firings.

Of course, unlike living orchids, Hart’s sculptures prove their durability by their failure to wilt. Head to Instagram and Facebook to follow her vibrant works, and see which are available for purchase from Vessel Gallery.

“Orchis Exotica Cattleya Pink striker,” fused and sculpted glass with neon, 44.5 x 47.5 x 17 centimeters

“Orchis Exotica Cymbidium Baby Pink,” fused and sculpted glass with neon, 47 x 57 x 17.5 centimeters

“Orchis Exotica Cymbidium Baby Pink,” fused and sculpted glass with neon, 47 x 57 x 17.5 centimeters

“Orchis Exotica Cymbidium Black Knight,” fused and sculpted glass with neon, 47 x 57 x 17.5 centimeters

“Orchis Exotica Phalaenopsis Appaloosa,” fused and sculpted glass with neon, 48.5 x 51 x 18 centimeters

“Orchis Exotica Phalaenopsis Violet,” fused and sculpted glass with neon, 48.5 x 51 x 18 centimeters

 

 



Art History

Art Museums and Cultural Institutions Around the Globe are Sending Each Other Virtual Bouquets and Botanicals

March 31, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Dear @mcachicago, Roses are red Violets are blue Your art is modern We love visiting you! #MuseumBouquet Tulip: Robert Thornton, Temple of Flora (1807)” —Field Museum

Social media was teeming last week with floral offerings from cultural institutions around the globe. Since many are closed due to COVID-19, museums like the Guggenheim, MCA Chicago, and the New-York Historical Society, which began the botanical trend, exchanged sweet messages paired with virtual bouquets from their current collections. We’ve gathered some of them here, but be sure to check out #MuseumBouquet on Twitter and Instagram for more historical florals. (via Design You Trust)

 

 

 

“A Klimt for a Klimt! Mäda Primavesi and her flowers send their regards to you, neighbor. Cherry blossomTwo hearts#MuseumBouquet” — The Metropolitan Museum of Art

 

 

“To our Crimson friends @peabodymuseum –a Red trillium (Trillium erectum). These should begin blooming across New England in April. We hope this #MuseumBouquet is a reminder of better, brighter days ahead. #MuseumFromHome” —Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History

 

 

“Hello to our lovely friends @hirshhorn, we hope this Tiffany lamp #MuseumBouquet shines bright in your feed today. We’re thinking of you! 💐” —New-York Historical Society

 

 

“Hi @Hirshhorn! Happy Tuesday. #FlowersforFriends” —Tate

 

 

 



Food

Twisting Vines and Leafy Botanics Carved into Crusty Breads by Blondie + Rye

March 12, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Blondie + Rye

North Carolina-based baker Hannah P. has planted herself firmly at the intersection of art and food as she transforms her crusty rye loaves and spelt focaccias into edible canvases for her botanic projects. Through her Instagram account Blondie + Rye, Hannah shares hundreds of flour-covered creations replete with twisting vines and leafy stems. Some pieces even feature layered fruits and vegetables that resemble verdant gardens and floral bouquets. If the baker’s combinations weren’t so appetizing—think a spelt loaf speckled with rosemary and brown sugar and a cream cheese, Romano, and lemon zest center or a ring full of extra-crunchy peanut butter, honey, toasted pecans, pistachios, walnuts, and hazelnut cocoa filling—they’d be almost too pretty to eat. For more lovely baked exteriors, check out Lauren Ko‘s pies.