insects

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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.

 

 



Animation Illustration

Fluttering Moths Radiate Whimsy in Twinkling Gifs by Vlad Stankovic

January 22, 2020

Grace Ebert

All gifs © Vlad Stankovic

Sydney-based illustrator and graphic designer Vlad Stankovic (previously) has a gift for crafting playful animated scenes. His recent “Piccalilli Moths” project—which was commissioned by Preen, a Los Angeles-based design and architecture firm, for a Culver City restaurant—features sparkly moths that are surrounded by insects and beetles with fluttering wings, twinkling mushrooms, and muted plants that sprout in the background. Created with watercolors and colored pencil before being transferred to Photoshop, the whimsical gifs “were printed using lenticular printing, a technique where the image gives an illusion of depth and movement when viewed from different angles,” the artist said in a statement about the project. Check out Etsy or Society6 to purchase some of Stankovic’s similarly charming illustrations and prints.

 

 



Craft

Giant Fabric Butterfly and Moth Sculptures Hand-Crafted by Yumi Okita

December 22, 2019

Andrew LaSane

All images © Yumi Okita, shared with permission

North Carolina-based artist Yumi Okita (previously) layers hand-painted fabric, embroidery thread, feathers, and faux fur to create large sculptures of insects. Each handmade moth and butterfly is one-of-a-kind, with coloration and patterning often inspired by existing species.

Okita’s fiber sculptures are designed to be hung from wires or displayed as free-standing works. The fabric wings on the insects measure up to 9.5 inches wide, while the furry creatures stand an impressive 3.5 to 4.5 inches tall. From a distance, they could be mistaken for the real thing, but a closer look reveals an intricate weave of materials and a vibrant array of colors.

The unique creations are sold via Yumi Okita’s Etsy shop, and you check out the growing specimen gallery over on Instagram.

 

 



Art

Magazine Cutouts Form Nature Collages Shaped Like Birds and Butterflies by Jennifer Murphy

November 4, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Toronto-based artist Jennifer Murphy combines cutouts of animals, plants, and other organic objects to create large-scale nature collages. Strung together using gossamer thread, the collages form the silhouettes of birds and surreal outdoor scenes from Murphy’s imagination.

The artist sources images of varying color and scale from nature magazines and textbooks and uses them as the pieces to much larger puzzles. The collages are wall-mounted, often without frames, which makes the oversized butterflies and birds appear as if they are floating in mid-air against the white gallery walls. A series of Murphy’s recent works, The Shadow of Sirius, was exhibited at Clint Roenisch Gallery in Toronto from September 5 through October 12, 2019. Murphy said in a statement that it was the loss of a close friend a decade ago that prompted her shift to making larger scale pieces. “The work was a way to cope with the grief but also an outlet to hope. This series comes at another time of loss, both personal and I believe collective. We now live in a time of ecological mourning and are in desperate need for paths to rediscover hope.”

For a closer look at the creatures and objects that make up Jennifer Murphy’s ecosystems, follow Clint Roenisch Gallery and the artist on Instagram. (via MyModernMet)

 

 



Art

Praying Mantises, Venus Fly Traps, and Autumn Leaves Crafted From Finely Molded Crepe Paper

July 22, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Illustrator and paper artist Tina Kraus sculpts realistic insects, plants, and reptiles out of textured crepe paper, adding colorful details with pastel chalk and paint. Kraus first began using the materials about two years ago, starting with common flowers and moving on to more nontraditional plants such as the Venus flytrap. Most recently she has has created a gecko and several different types of insects. When she is not building crepe paper objects, the Münster, Germany-based artist works on pop-up books, paper toys, and illustrations for children’s books and magazines. You can see more of her work on Instagram and Behance. (via Colossal Submissions)

 

 



Science

An Enchanting Macro Time-Lapse of Blooms and Insects in 8K Resolution by Thomas Blanchard

June 26, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

In -N- Uprising, a video that is equal parts stylized and naturalistic, Thomas Blanchard (previously) documents the life cycles of insects and flowers. Time-lapse allows the viewer to see a caterpillar metamorphose into a chrysalis and then a butterfly, orchid buds burst into full bloom, and a snail grow its eyeballs perched on antennae. By using solid fields of color as his background, Blanchard allows the focus to stay on the impressive transformative moments. The insects were filmed in video at 8K shot over the course of seven months, and the flower blooms are assembled from hundreds of 5K photographs. Music for -N- Uprising is by Alexis Dehimi. Watch more of Blanchard’s videos on Vimeo.

 

 



Art

Insect Illustrations Inspired by Looney Tunes Characters and Horror Movie Icons

June 22, 2019

Andrew LaSane

UK-based illustrator Richard Wilkinson (previously) imagines new insect species inspired by familiar faces from popular culture. Two of his more recent series cover both ends of a fantastical spectrum, with bugs designed after horror movie villains and children’s cartoon characters.

For his horror icons Family: Timorpersonae collection, Wilkinson pays homage to classic slashers and newer terrors including Jason Voorhees, Pennywise the Clown, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, and the demon Valak. For each insect’s zoological nomenclature, Wilkinson creates a Latin phrase that serves as a description of the character or their respective film. For example, his Freddy Krueger “A Nightmare on Elm Street” piece is titled Insomnium ulmusvicus: insomnium from the Latin insomnis (sleep), ulmus (street), and vicus (elm).

For his Family: Insanusmelodiae series, Wilkinson incorporated the faces of iconic Looney Tunes characters into the bodies of beetles and bugs who inherited unfortunate but funny traits from their cartoon counterparts. “Their distinctive characteristics include loud and often odd vocalizations and the very distinctive fast and erratic movements,” the artist wrote in a statement. He added that the “most peculiar aspect of the Insanusmelodiae’s behaviour is their clumsiness. They often meet their end under a falling stone or twig, or after falling from a long drop. Their wings, also vestigial, can produce enough uplift to keep them in the air for a moment or two before they fall.”

To see more of Wilkinson’s buggy mashups, fly on over to his Instagram page.

 

 

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