Art Design History
Industrial Materials Reconstruct Local History on a Monumental Scale in Public Sculptures by David Mach
Known for sculptures and assemblages that utilize everyday objects like bricks, coat hangers, and matches, Scottish artist David Mach has embarked on numerous large-scale, public projects that draw inspiration from local history. In his monumental “Brick Train” in Darlington, he taps into regional heritage through the use of red brick and the depiction of a life-size steam locomotive. The industrial revolution of the 19th century spurred a need to move materials like coal and steel around the country, and the first railway to use steam engines to transport passengers also originated in the area. In the U.K., red bricks have prevailed as the most popular building material, constructing long rows of terraced homes that characterize the urban landscape.
Further north in Edinburgh, the architectonic “Temple at Tyre” was constructed from dozens of shipping containers and over 8,000 tires (or tyres) in the port of Leith, a critical international shipping hub. It was installed for a month and illuminated at night to rival the city’s major landmarks, like the neoclassical National Monument on Calton Hill. The containers, which are also the focus of a proposed building in an Edinburgh business park, are immense reminders of the trade and commerce that the city is built upon.
Mach currently has additional projects in the works in London, Mauritius, and Syria. Heavy Metal, a solo exhibition opening at Pangolin London in January will highlight ongoing work in a showcase of maquettes and prints. You can find more of the artist’s work on his website.
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Wooden Detailing and Hanging Plants Provide a Modern Update for an Industrial Building From the 1950s
In 2014 Auckland and Los Angeles-based Fearon Hay Architects were asked to convert a dilapidated 1950s building in Taichung, Taiwan into a boutique hotel. After a site visit, the studio decided integrate as many of the existing elements of the building as possible, embracing the original character of the raw industrial building. The resulting SOF Hotel still has the charm of the seven-decade-old structure, with natural timber furniture elements, large glass enclosures, and sporadic gardens that provide a minimal and modern update. Hanging plants protect rooms from the busy streets below, while a large open atrium provides bright, central light. You can see more of Fearon Hay Architects projects on their website, and follow more images by the project photographer Andrès Gallardo Albajar on Instagram.
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A Sharp Look at the Surprisingly Complex Process of Pencil Manufacturing by Photographer Christopher Payne
Photographer Christopher Payne (previously) spent several years building a relationship with the owners of General Pencil Company in Jersey City, New Jersey, one of the last remaining pencil factories in the United States. His dedication to working with the factory paid off, and between fall 2015 and summer 2017 Payne was granted access to the production floor for photo-documentation more than thirty times.
The photographer, renowned for his cinematic images that show the architectural grace of manufacturing spaces, shares that he has held a lifelong fascination with design, assembly, and industrial processes. “The pencil is so simple and ubiquitous that we take it for granted,” Payne tells Colossal. “But making one is a surprisingly complex process, and when I saw all the steps involved, many of which are done by hand, I knew it would make for a compelling visual narrative.”
Payne received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architecture, though he has long focused on photography in his professional life. He has published three books and exhibited his work widely, most recently at the Wellcome Collection in London, U.K. and the Museum of the City of New York. You can see more of his work on Facebook and Instagram.
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Artist Yang Yongliang Imagines the Bleak Effects of Industrialization in Dense Photographic Collages
In these stark photographic collages that seem to possess the infinite density of a fractal, artist Yang Yongliang (previously) questions unchecked industrialization, the impact of climate change, and pressing social issues in his native China. Each image seems to suggest a post-apocalyptic future where the forces of urbanization collide with the natural world, creating a drab black and white dystopia. “The artist keeps developing a critic approach to reality while searching for a spiritual source in his country’s relentless march between technological progress and annihilation,” states Galerie Paris-Beijing.
As part of this new series titled Time Immemorial, Yongliang began with a series of digital collages that were printed in negative on fine art paper. Each piece was then photographed with a traditional film camera and prints were developed by hand. Lastly, the artworks are mounted on back-lit wooden cases to fulfill the artist’s intent to preserve digital imagery on photographic film.
Time Immemorial opens at Galerie Paris-Beijing on November 4, 2017.
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Blowtorch Filigree: Lace Patterns Delicately Cut from Industrial Steel Objects by Cal Lane
Cal Lane works in a series of “Industrial Doilies”, producing works that use contradiction to create an empathetic form. Lane imparts highly industrial materials with touches of delicacy, adding filigree to car parts, oil tanks, and shovels with a blowtorch. Her chosen patterns also exist on another level, their compositions inspired by those used in religious ceremonies such as weddings, christenings, and funerals.
Lane’s use of lace simultaneously hides and exposes the materials in which she chooses to work, revealing and covering up tough materials with delicate pattern. Through this notion, Lane also institutes a sense of humor explaining, “Like a Wrestler in a tutu, the absurdity of having opposing extremist stances is there for reaction and not rational understanding; the rational discussion arises in the search for how one thing defines the other by its proximity.”
Lane has studied painting, welding and sculpture and holds an MFA in Sculpture from the State University of New York. She exhibits works with galleries internationally including ones located in Montreal, Santa Monica, and New York City. All images here courtesy Art Mur.
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