In Benjamin Sack’s imagined environments, it’s not uncommon to find angular mazes resembling dystopian structures, buildings packed so closely together it’s difficult to distinguish one from the next, and labyrinthine walkways that spiral like fractals. Working in pen and ink, the artist (previously) draws intricate black-and-white metropolises that waver between organization and chaos: He plays with geometry, angles, and dimension to render perplexing maps teeming with both traditional architecture and surreal additions, like treble clefs, astral shapes, and dizzying line- and dot-work.
While many of Sack’s works meld the past, present, and future into a single display, his recent feet-wide maze titled “Roots of Being (Per Aspera ad Astra)” is directly drawn from this last year. “This piece was a massive, Daedalian undertaking that was started at the outset of the initial lockdowns back in March 2020 and finished upon my receiving the first dose of the vaccine in April,” the artist tells Colossal. “A large labyrinth emblematic of the epoch we persevered.”
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Motoi Yamamoto (previously here and here) meticulously sculpts large scale installations formed from salt, tiny lines delicately arranged on the floor of galleries and museums. In his latest exhibition titled “Univer’sel,” Yamamoto has created two pieces in a 13th-century medieval castle in Aigues-Mortes, located in the south of France.
The first piece, ‘Floating Garden,” is installed in a circular room, appearing like swirling clouds or thick ocean foam. Without a walkway it is impossible to view the piece up close, viewers only able to view Yamamoto’s labor from afar. The second piece, “Labyrinth” is arranged in a stone passageway within the castle’s ramparts. The appearance of the work mimics the title, a maze that becomes more detailed the further it grows from a mountain-like pile of salt towards the back of the installation.
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Located in the same island country that the Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed is a structure that, like the hill-secured homes of the hobbits, also seems to hide within its natural environment. The Tree Church is formed almost entirely from living trees with thick leaves covering its shady interior. The New Zealand-based church can seat a hundred people and was first planted by Barry Cox on his property near Cambridge beginning in 2011.
The original inspiration behind the structure was a means for Cox to “retreat from society.” However, after others caught word of his living church as it grew into completion over the last 4 years, he decided to open it and the surrounding gardens for public and private events. The Tree Church is now set within three acres of extensive shaded gardens, including a labyrinth walk based on the ancient city of Jericho from 460 BC.
An iron frame is at the core of the church, as Cox wanted the walls and roof of the natural building to be distinctly different, “just like masonry churches,” he said. Cut-leaf alder was chosen for the roof as it is flexible enough to be trained over the frame which will be removed when the branches become strong enough to support the church themselves. (via Faith is Torment, Inhabitat)
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