flowers

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Illustration

Fragile Compositions of Perishable Goods Are ‘Hanging By a String’ in Illustrations by Vicki Ling

March 11, 2020

Grace Ebert

Hanging By a String, (2020), graphite and colored pencil. All images © Vicki Ling, shared with permission

In her series Hanging By a String, illustrator Vicki Ling explores the fragility and precarity of modern life. Through her towers of perishables, Ling very literally presents instability and catastrophes moments from happening. With a tug or slip of the red string that she wraps around everyday items, her compositions would topple. “We can observe society today has achieved a high degree of economic and technological development, yet we are contemporaneously struggling to keep up with the increasingly fast pace and materialistic nature of life,” Ling says of the project.

The Chicago-based illustrator tells Colossal that the string serves as a visual depiction of the tension that pervades contemporary life and disrupts any chance for complete harmony. Each element of beauty—the blooming florals, elegant edibles, and delicate teaware—is superficially pleasing and a distraction from the impending destruction.

Contemporary lifestyles tend to obscure various crises that spontaneously erupt, from privacy invasions to public health issues and from climate change to personal emotional disorders, etc. Often our preoccupations are so overwhelming that they lead us to conceal our anxiety in oblivion. I’m interested in surfacing that sense of tension and insecurity and raise these issues to our collect(ive) consciousness.

For more of Ling’s perilous projects, head to her Instagram or Behance.

 

 



Craft Design

Assemblages of Found Florals Imprinted on Ceramic Mugs and Plates by Hessa Al Ajmani

March 9, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Hessa Al Ajmani

Artist Hessa Al Ajmani often gathers small flowers and fronds from her mother’s garden. She brings the floral arrangements to her home studio, where she presses the groupings onto her earthenware and stoneware pieces, leaving simple and realistic imprints. Based in Ajman in the United Arab Emirates, the artist uses some plaster molds and stamps she creates herself, although each piece is hand-built, preventing any two from being exactly alike. Before firing, she peels off the greenery and petals, revealing the small grooves and divots that she later paints.

Because Al Aljmani doesn’t use a wheel, her pieces typically take hours, or even days, to finish. “I’ve been playing with all sorts of clay (air-drying, polymer, earthenware) since I was a child. I learned how to work with it professionally in university, but didn’t pick up the practice until about a year ago,” she said on her site. “I had to re-teach myself all the basics and do endless tests with clay consistency, form, texture, firings, etc.”

Shaping each ceramic piece and layering the found florals is therapeutic, the artist says, because it requires patience and has fostered an acceptance of and appreciation for imperfection. “My ceramic work speaks of my memories of home and the process of self-healing. Through imprints of flower, leaves, and patterns, it invokes a sense of nostalgia and the idea of home as a space of free thought and personal growth,” she said.

In addition to her own practice, the artist founded the Clay Corner Studio in 2019, which offers ceramics and painting classes. To watch Al Ajmani’s process, check out her Instagram and see which pieces she has available for purchase in her shop.

 

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Art Illustration

Floral-and-Frond Compositions Shape Energetic Wildlife by Raku Inoue

March 2, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Whale” (2020). All images © Raku Inoue

Known for his botanical arrangements of beetles, insects, and butterflies, Raku Inoue once again is bringing flora and fauna together. His previous work often positions the animals in stationary poses, resembling a portrait of an owl or a scorpion pinned inside a glass case as part of a collection. The latest pieces in his Natura Wildlife series, though, indicate a liveliness and inclination for movement, from a whale blasting orange flowers from its blowhole to a seahorse grasping a Q-tip.

In an Instagram post, the Montreal-based creative even said he modeled his pink-hued flamingo after Flamingo Bob, the Caribbean bird who was disabled after flying into a hotel window. The artist crafted multiple depictions of the animal as he stares, swims, and mingles with friends, in between his duties as an ambassador for the FDOC, a foundation dedicated to educating locals about wildlife protection. “I thought I would make these images honoring him and his future legacies,” Inoue wrote.

“Staring Bob” (2020)

“Jellyfish” (2020)

“Mingling Bob” (2020)

 

 



Art

Delicate Flowers of Carved Wood by Yoshihiro Suda Spring Out from Cracks

February 28, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Yoshihiro Suda

Concerned with the ways artworks relate to their surroundings, Yoshihiro Suda often tucks his naturalistic flowers inside small cracks and holes where they’d grow naturally. While his pieces are remarkable comparisons to living florals, though, their compositions differ: Suda carves each African violet, rose, and morning glory completely out of wood.

The Japanese artist includes intricate details like leaf veins and small punctures in the petals, adding to their realistic qualities. “I think art can change our perspective and ways of thinking. It encourages us to see things that we otherwise might miss,” he said in a statement.

Suda was raised in the Yamanashi prefecture near Mt. Fuji in a region full of natural beauty, prompting his admiration for “nature, materials, details, and small objects.” He works within the tradition of Japanese woodcarving and invokes the art of netsuke, the miniature sculptures that came into fashion in the 17th century.

If you’re in Tokyo, stop by The Ginza Space before March 22 to see Suda’s work in person. Otherwise, see which delicate pieces he has available on Artsy. (via Spoon & Tamago)

 

 



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)