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Art

The Coral Greenhouse: Jason deCaires Taylor's Latest Installation is an Underwater Sanctuary for Vulnerable Sea Creatures

August 5, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Jason deCaires Taylor, shared with permission

About 50 miles from Townsville, Australia, an unassuming structure created by Jason deCaires Taylor (previously) rests on the sandy floor the John Brewer Reef. Currently, “The Coral Greenhouse” is in pristine condition with little algae or tiny organisms stuck to its sides. Over time, though, the sculptural work is designed to amass vibrant clusters of the sea creatures as they colonize the submerged form.

Constructed with corrosion-resistant stainless steel and pH-neutral substances, the biomorphic frame is modeled after nature’s patterns. The materials help inspire coral growth and are designed to be absorbed into the oceanic environment as the colonies sprawl across it. Workbenches line its sides and are adorned with simple patterns that create small enclaves for ocean life to hide from predators or rest. To keep divers away from the fragile ecosystems, Taylor tends to install his marine projects in less vulnerable areas.

Weighing 165 tons, the sanctuary is the Museum of Underwater Art’s largest installation to date. The A-frame structure is comprised of triangular sections and a massive cement base, which provide stability from waves and adverse weather. Its slatted sides allow divers, filter-feeding organisms, and schools of fish to swim in and out, and floating spires that protrude from the beams’ apex oscillate with the currents.

Figurative sculptures, which were made from casts of kids around the world, populate the inside to serve as a reminder that the coral needs care. They’re shown cradling planters, peering into microscopes, and watching over the vulnerable environment. “Thus they are tending to their future, building a different relationship with our marine world, one which recognizes it as precious, fragile, and in need of protection. Our children are the guardians of the Great Barrier Reef,” Taylor writes about the piece.

Dives to tour the site-specific installation will begin in 2021. Until then, get an idea of how some of Taylor’s previous works have transformed after being submerged for more than a dozen years on his Instagram. (via Fast Company)

 

 

 



Photography

The Ever-Present Glow of LED Greenhouses Documented by Aerial Photographer Tom Hegen

October 22, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

All photographs © Tom Hegen, shared with permission of the artist

German photographer Tom Hegen, who specializes in aerial photography, recently traveled to the Netherlands to document the country’s LED greenhouses. The greenhouses were developed as a response to the small country’s growing need for food both within its own borders and to the international market. Dutch exporters are second only to the U.S. industry for global food exports as measured by value. Although the greenhouses offer incredible efficiency in their design, cultivating food year-round through high temperatures and humidity levels, their round-the-clock use also gives off a great deal of light pollution. Hegen flew in a helicopter at night to capture the yellow and purple glow that the greenhouses give off, their geometric planes of illumination standing out from the dark atmosphere.

The photographer tells Colossal that his work centers around the topic of the Anthropocene (the era of human influence on Earth’s biological, geological, and atmospheric processes). “In my photography, I explore the origin and scale of that idea in an effort to understand the dimensions of man’s intervention in natural spaces and to direct attention toward how humans can take responsibility.” Hegen explains that aerial photography in particular helps convey the Anthropocene because it shows the dimensions and scale of human impact more effectively.

“I am also fascinated by the abstraction that comes with the change of perspective; seeing something familiar from a new vantage point that you are not used to,” Hegen tells Colossal. “I use abstraction and aestheticization as a language to inspire people and also to offer the viewer a connection to the subject as they need to decode what they are looking at.”

In 2018 Hegen published his first aerial photo book, HABITAT, and next year he will start working on a follow-up, the artist shares with Colossal. Keep up with Hegen’s travels and latest projects on Instagram and Behance.

 

 



Art Illustration

Blue and White Greenhouse Illustrations Appear like Sun-Baked Cyanotypes

February 25, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Portuguese artist Ana Frois uses her background in architecture to draft precise structures she fills with imaginative monochrome plants and miniature gardening accessories. The series, simply titled Greenhouses, is created with white pencil on top of deep blue acrylic on paper. The ghostly forms are reminiscent of a cyanotype or faded architectural sketch, as if the clean-cut floating renderings are memories from another time. You can find more of Frois’s drawings on Instagram, and purchase prints of her work on Etsy.

 

 



Design Photography

Majestic Conservatories and Cozy Private Potting Sheds Showcase the Universal Appeal of Glass Greenhouses

October 16, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Gardens by the Bay, Singapore. All photographs © Haarkon

Photographer duo India Hobson and Magnus Edmondson (known collectively as Haarkon) celebrate the universal beauty and rich history of glass greenhouses in a new book, Glasshouse Greenhouse. Filled with verdant images of greenhouses from around the world, the book is divided into seven thematic chapters including History, Research, and Pleasure. Haarkon complement the visual storytelling with written reflections that explain each location and their experience in discovering it.

The UK-based pair travels widely for their editorial and commercial work as visual storytellers, and seeking out greenhouses has become a touchpoint in their explorations of new places. In an interview with the Telegraph, Hobson shares, “It’s a fusion of both botanicals and architecture, an odd but extremely satisfying mix of the organic and engineered which I think appeals to a broad range of [people]. To me, they are a universal language in some ways: the fusion of many cultures and countries all under one beautiful glass roof.”

Freshly published by Pavilion Books on October 4th, Glasshouse Greenhouse is Haarkon’s debut book and it is available on Amazon. You can see more from Hobson and Edmondson on their website and Instagram.

Tropical Display Dome, Brisbane Botanic Garden, Mount Coot-tha, Queensland, Australia

The Kibble Palace, Glasgow Botanic Gardens, Glasgow UK

University of Oxford Botanic Garden, Oxford UK

Barbican Conservatory, London UK

Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

Magnus Edmondson and India Hobson

 

 



Photography

Botanical: A Collection of Impressionistic Plant Specimens Captured Against Greenhouse Glass

July 27, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Samuel Zeller began photographing greenhouses in 2015 after making a spontaneous trip to the Jardin d’hiver on his way home from work in Geneva, Switzerland. He was instantly fascinated by the blurred quality of the botanical specimens when gently pressed against the rippled glass, and began documenting this effect in greenhouses across Europe. His collection of images from the last three years have recently been compiled into the book Botanical, published this spring by Hoxton Mini Press.

“What I’m doing right now is very much influenced by my past,” Zeller tells Colossal regarding the plant-based series. “I’ve always enjoyed going to museums, and I developed an attraction for painting, specifically Impressionist ones. In ‘Botanical’ I tried to re-create this painterly feeling by capturing a refracted reality.”

When viewing the images, an intimacy can be felt between Zeller’s lens and the glass-guarded ferns, florals, and succulents despite the physical barrier that separates them. You can see more of his plant photography on his Instagram and Behance. (via Feature Shoot)

 

 



Design

Plant Party: A Greenhouse in Tokyo Bursts Into a Dazzling Light Show When You Touch the Plants Inside

October 24, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

An illuminated greenhouse fills Tokyo Midtown’s garden space, encouraging visitors to touch the variety of vegetables that grow inside. The functional plant shelter was created by design studio PARTY for the city’s 2017 Design Touch event, a month-long festival that focuses on the experiential elements of good design.

Each plant in the Digital Vegetables installation is rigged to trigger a symphony of light and sound when touched. Each color and noise reflect a specific aspect of the plant, allowing the visitor to connect to the organic matter with senses that lay outside of taste or smell.

“Sounds of rubbing seeds. Sounds of touching leaves. Sounds of eating fruits,” says Digital Vegetables’ Sound Designer Ray Kunimoto. “I recorded the sounds created with actual vegetables. Then, I mixed them with the sounds of orchestra instruments on the computer to make 7 melodies.”

Kunimoto’s technique makes sure there is a unique sound for each. When visitors touch a tomato they will hear the sound of a violin, carrots will trigger trumpets, and cabbages will activate the deep sounds of the oboe.

The installation is free, and will be displayed in Tokyo Midtown through November 5th, 2017. You can see the greenhouse in action in a short video of Digital Vegetables below. (via Spoon&Tamago)

 

 

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