with installation art
Situated within the Royal Fort Gardens at The University of Bristol, British designer Katie Paterson and architects Zeller & Moye collaborated on Hollow, a wooden installation that illustrates the diversity of tree species found across the globe. From the outside the sculptural work appears as a series of rectangles made from a similar, light colored sample of wood, yet when one enters the modular elements break into wooden blocks of all shapes, sizes, and hues. Clustered rectangular structures emerge from the ceiling and floor of the cave-like public art piece like stalactites and stalagmites. The structures are composed of a range of wood samples, including ones that evolved millions of years ago to far more recent examples.
During three years of research and sourcing Paterson collected over 10,000 tree samples from various sources, including the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, the Arnold Arboretum at Harvard University and Yakushima, known as one of the wettest, forest-filled islands surrounding Japan. The collection also features a piece of wood from the Indian Banyan Tree, a fig tree where Buddha achieved enlightenment, the Japanese Ginkgo tree, and the Metuselah tree, found in the White Mountains in eastern California, which at 4,850 years old, is believed to be one of the oldest trees in the world.
Hollow is an ethereal environment for both play and meditation, and resembles a forest canopy with patches of light dappling in from the ceiling. The construction illustrates the detailed beauty of the natural world, and is poignant reminder of the importance of appreciating and maintaining our fragile natural environment. To step virtually into the permanent installation, visit Hollow‘s website.
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The historic building of Taylor’s Eye Witness Works in Sheffield, England is currently hosting Mausoleum of the Giants, the newest sculptural installation by Phlegm (previously). The exhibition features a number of large-scale sculptures of the surreal pseudo-mythological characters he’s included in his murals worldwide. Placed inside the spacious interior of a former kitchen and pocket knife factory, these friendly giants welcome visitors to walk between and examine their appearance from every angle.
The largest piece of the show waits for the viewer just beyond the first door. This massive creature lies on the ground in an almost fetus-like position, with large arms and hands clenched as he stares through the space with wide open eyes. Visitors must walk around the monumental body to discover the rest of the exhibition and peek at what other giants rest beyond the first room.
The works are created on skeletons made of wood and wire, with papier-mâché finishing. Phlegm then paints on them in an illustrative style based on intricate patterns and using a shading effect. This technique makes them seem flat when photographed against the architectural elements of the building, yet in person, they seem bigger, heavier, and bolder. By producing the creates at a scale that barely fits inside the space, they imitate how the artist regularly uses every inch of a wall to paint his captivating murals.
Mausoleum of the Giants will be open to the public through April 6, 2019. Phlegm plans to continue his experimentations with scale by putting together a show with miniature etchings he’s been working on in the last couple of years, in addition to releasing a book of etchings. You can follow his worldwide murals and sculptures on Instagram.
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A chilling new installation in the Outer Hebrides shows the impact of climate change and rising tides on the low-lying islands off the west coast of Scotland. Lines (57° 59 ́N, 7° 16 ́W) was created by Finnish artists Pekka Niittyvirta and Timo Aho for Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum & Arts Centre in Lochmaddy on the island of North Uist. The site-specific installation uses sensors and LED lights to show where the water will flow during storm surges if the Earth’s temperature continues to rise. Searing white lines mark this rising water level on the sides of buildings, hover over bridges, and extend across other susceptible areas across the museum campus and surrounding community.
The installation’s delineations starkly demonstrate the ticking clock that makes the museum’s current location unsustainable unless drastic measures are taken to stop climate change. The video below shows the artists’ installation process. You can see more from Niittyvirta and Aho on their websites. (via designboom)
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Layers of Crocheted Fabric Drape Across a Large-Scale Inflatable Installation Inside of Paris's Le Bon Marché
Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos (previously) recently installed a large site-specific inflatable installation covered with crocheted fabric and embellishments inside of Paris’ oldest department store, Le Bon Marché. The suspended two-part work, titled “Simone,” is the latest in the artist’s Valkyries series, and takes inspiration from the female figures in Norse mythology.
Named for French human rights activists Simone du Beauvoir and Simone Weil, the large piece features two orb-like structures that loom over visitors along the store’s perimeter, and is connected by tentacles that weave around the building’s iconic escalators. The inflatable is dressed in fabric with handmade crocheted details that dangle from its limbs to give it the appearance of an alien chandelier. Color-changing LEDs are also embedded throughout the work and pulse rhythmically, which gives the strange being the entrancing power of a bioluminescent deep sea organism.
Vasconcelos tells Colossal that like the winged-horse riders, the works in her Valkyries series “are both warrior and protective creatures, in the way they attack and contaminate yet adapt and engage with the spaces they inhabit.” To see more of the artist’s work, follow her on Instagram and Facebook.
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Bubbletecture, a forthcoming book from Phaidon, captures the incredible range of inflatable architecture, fashion, art, and design that has been created over the last several decades. From chair-shaped balloon creations by Seung Jin Yang to a blow-up aubergine concert hall by Arata Isozaki (previously) and Anish Kapoor (previously), the included designs range from aesthetic interpretations of puffy inflatables to pieces that highlight their ease and functionality. The book, which was written by New York City-based architect Sharon Francis, presents more than 200 examples of shape-shifting designs dating back to the 1960s. You can discover more soft architecture forms and air-filled frocks by ordering the book on Bookshop. (via Web Urbanist)
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While libraries are certainly safe havens for books, the always-evolving taste of readers and the inevitable wear and tear on each tome means that many books are eventually phased out and destined for the dumpster. Los Angeles native Mike Stilkey (previously) works with local libraries to give those books a second chance with his massive art installations. Stilkey arranges the faces and spines of books in groupings of varying size, ranging from a half dozen staked together to thousands-tall-towers that fill public spaces. With a combination of colored pencil, ink, paint, and lacquer, he then paints lively characters using the books as his canvas. The colors, sizes, and titles offer unique blends of backgrounds for dancing couples (both human and feline), dapper birds, and bicycling bears.
Stilkey uses fanciful colors and anthropomorphized animals to add a sense of timeless whimsy to his paintings, which have been exhibited throughout the US. The artist has also traveled the world to create site-specific installations in South Korea, Italy, Switzerland, China, and the Philippines. He will be installing a new work at the LA Art Show in Los Angeles, California from January 23 – 27, 2019. You can see more of his work on Instagram and Facebook. (via My Modern Met)
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Highlights below. For the full collection click here.