Ana Martins, who works as Aheneah, recently reflected on the relaxed freedom of youth and captured that feeling in a cross-stitched intervention on a wall in Vila Franca de Xira, Portugal. The work is along a popular route to a local school, and is comprised of over 2,300 screws and nearly 760 yards of yarn.
The 22-year-old artist isn’t far from the experience of transitioning from student to adult. Martins shares with Colossal, “Every day, for many years, thousands of kids pass by this wall while going from home to school and from school to home. Most of the time just floating in their thoughts, lost in space, time and routine. Until their paths have to change directions. This happened to me a few years ago.”
She graduated in 2017 with a degree in graphic design, and in her professional work explores the connections between digital and analogue mediums, seeking to “deconstruct, decontextualize and transform a traditional technique into a modern graphic, connecting cultures and generations.” You can see more from Martins on Instagram and Facebook.
Share this story
Creative constructions of Lego bricks spring to life in these advertising campaigns developed by Asawin Tejasakulsin, a senior art director at Ogilvy & Mather in Bangkok, Thailand. The two series, Imagine and Build the Future, amplify the childhood wonder central to the Lego brand, devising playful scenarios that successfully interact with reality. In Imagine, storybook animals come to life, while in Build the Future, children assemble the uniforms of their dream jobs, all using Lego bricks. You can see more work by Tejasakulsin on Behance.
Share this story
Gabriele Galimberti spent more than two years traveling the world, visiting over fifty countries to photograph young children with their toys. The Italian photographer shares in a statement on Toy Stories, “I recorded the spontaneous and natural joy that unites kids despite their diverse backgrounds. Whether the child owns a veritable fleet of miniature cars or a single stuffed monkey, the pride that they have is moving, funny, and thought provoking.”
In addition to documenting the socioeconomic range of families around the world, Galimberti’s colorful portraits capture the unique personalities of each young person before his camera lens. The photographer has published a book, also called Toy Stories, which compiles all of the portraits from this series. His other titles include My Couch is your Couch, about how people live around the world, and In Her Kitchen, which documents grandmothers and their culinary traditions. You can see more of Galimberti’s work and travels on Instagram. (via Booooooom)
Share this story
A Project Aims to Create the World’s Largest Hanging Garden Since Babylon Within the Branches of a 114-Foot Tree
The French masterminds of mechanical delight, Les Machines de L’ile, have an ambitious new project underway. L’Arbre aux Hérons (The Heron’s Tree) is set to be the largest hanging garden built since ancient Babylon, spanning over 160 feet in diameter and reaching 114 feet into the sky. Their Nantes-based team describes the historic muses behind the project:
Inspired by the worlds of Jules Verne and Leonardo Da Vinci, it is an unprecedented artistic project. After the Grand Elephant and the Machine Gallery in 2007, the Carousel of the Sea Worlds in 2012, the Herons’ Tree is the third phase of the Island’s Machines. Coming out of the minds of François Delaroziere and Pierre Orefice, it will be located along the banks of the Loire River, a few meters away from the house Jules Verne spent his teenage years in and where Jean-Jacques Audubon grew up and drew his first herons.
Les Machines de L’ile have been working on The Heron’s Tree since their inception in 2007, and in the spirit of democratic discovery, their team of skilled craftspeople have been sharing the prototypes with visitors to the Machine Gallery. The sketches and mock-ups for the project include a giant steel tree topped with two herons that each carry twenty passengers on circular flights. Half of the tree’s twenty-two branches can be traversed on foot by visitors, and all of the branches will support hanging terraces of plants and gardens to create a lush ecosystem. The tree itself will be set in an old granite quarry on the cliffs of Brittany.
The goal is to open The Heron’s Tree in 2022, and two thirds of the 35 million euro project cost is being covered by public funding. Les Machines de L’ile is seeking to fund the rest through crowdfunding: you can contribute via Kickstarter. You can also track the project’s progress on Facebook.
Share this story
Young Children Accompanied by Wildlife Take a Stance Among Urban Decay in Paintings by Kevin Peterson
Kevin Peterson (previously) continues to paint detailed tableaux of young children and animals juxtaposed against dystopian urban environments. Solo kids, accompanied only by wild allies of polar bears, lions, and raccoons, are at the center of each painting surrounded by abandoned, decaying buildings. Whereas his earlier paintings showed the children striding forward and exploring, more recently his young subjects have been paused, seeming to be in moments of reflection or defiance.
Peterson studied fine art alongside psychology in college and his varied career included a graduate degree in social work and a job as a corrections officer before he returned to his art practice in 2005. The artist’s interest in psychology and societal dynamics helps inform the intention behind his works, which Peterson describes as dealing “with isolation, loneliness and longing teamed with a level of optimistic hope. Issues of race and the division of wealth have arisen in my recent work. This work deals with the idea of rigid boundaries, the hopeful breakdown of such restrictions, as well as questions about the forces that orchestrate our behavior.”
Share this story
Whether you’re an established professional working with a top gallery, a weekend tinkerer, or a student tackling personal projects, here at Colossal we believe that your creativity enriches our world. The incredible range of art created by artists of all ages, from all backgrounds, all over the planet, is the lifeblood of our publication. That’s why, in this season of giving and receiving, Colossal is excited to partner with DonorsChoose.org to help support young artists.
DonorsChoose.org is a New York-based nonprofit that makes it easy for anyone to help a classroom in need. Public school teachers from every corner of America create classroom project requests, and you can give any amount to the project that inspires you.
We’ve selected a range of art-focused projects from around the U.S., including requests for basic art supplies as well as specific needs for exploring particular techniques and materials. Each project page lets you know about the teacher and students who benefit from our collective support; how and why the supplies will be used; and includes a specific breakdown of every item and expense on the classroom’s wish list. Or, simply make a donation at the top of the page and your donation will be automatically distributed.
Why do today’s students need our support? While many students in the US are fortunate to receive arts education, 17% of elementary school students receive no instruction in visual arts, and 96% of students receive no instruction in theater. And schools with higher rates of students in poverty are less likely to provide arts education (source). Youth of color in the United States are also half as likely as their white peers to be given access to arts education, a gap that has worsened over the last three decades (source).
So, is this also a question of policy? Absolutely, and we encourage you to drop a postcard in the mail or make a phone call to your elected representatives. DonorsChoose.org is helping public school teachers close the gap for their students by connecting educators and communities. We’ll be adding new projects and keeping a running tally of the total amount we’re raising as a community on our Colossal x DonorsChoose.org Page. Together, we can help tomorrow’s artists today.
Share this story
Editor's Picks: Animation
Highlights below. For the full collection click here.