landscapes

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Art Craft Design

Lush Tufted Tapestries Document Ecological Changes in Argentina's Landscapes

March 25, 2021

Anna Marks

All images © Alexandra Kehayoglou, shared with permission

Artist Alexandra Kehayoglou (previously) creates exquisite pieces of flowing textiles that reference the rugged landscapes of her homeland, Argentina. In the creation of each tapestry, Kehayoglou transforms surplus carpet fabric into natural elements that range from a spectrum of Earth-colored mosses to clusters of trees and serpentine rivers that cut through the heart of her weaves. Entwined within each piece are fragments of the artist’s own memories, including witnessing waterways slowly recede and the alterations to Argentina’s grasslands.

Her latest works, a series called Prayer Rugs, depict animal footprints and small vegetative features of the Parana Wetlands located 50 kilometers from Buenos Aires. In recent years, the region’s biodiversity has been decimated by the wood and paper industries, which have facilitated the growth of non-native plant species that have since spread out of control. Additionally, human-made fires wreaked havoc during 2020, while livestock simultaneously trampled the once-luscious grassland.

Kehayoglou’s pieces document the foliage that has survived after years of this widespread exploitation and how, over time, local fauna has started to reappear: thistles grow through cracks in the dry Earth, deer leave mud-splattered tracks, and chirping insects dance upon youthful leaves. The artworks narrate the wetland’s change and growth, reflecting the pain caused by capitalism while turning the need for change into tapestries that reference Argentinians’ hope. Kehayoglou says:

Isolation made me think of my carpets as spaces where new forms of activism could be enacted. A type of activism that instead of focusing on paranoid conflict was silent, absorptive and, as I believe, more effective. My carpets, thus, became instruments for documenting ‘minor’ aspects of the land, which were otherwise overlooked as irrelevant. A focus on its micro-narratives that would open new doors for possible ecological futures.

You can see more of the artist’s rich tapestries on her website and Instagram.

 

 

 



Photography

Majestic Photos by Michael Shainblum Frame Yosemite National Park through Rainbow Mist and Thick Fog

March 17, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Michael Shainblum, shared with permission

New photographs by Michael Shainblum (previously) capitalize on the grandeur of Yosemite National Park and cast it in an ethereal light. Shot in winter just after a dusting of snow, the series is serene and dream-like and spotlights the details that sometimes are lost in the vast wilderness: rainbow mist envelops a waterfall, dense fog hangs among a mountain top, and the warm glow of golden hour radiates across a rocky ridge.

Go behind-the-scenes of Shainblum’s visit to Yosemite in this video, and pick up a print in his shop. See more of his candy-colored landscapes and photographs capturing nature’s most majestic features on Instagram.

 

 

 



Illustration

The Blue Hour: Lyrical Illustrations Catalog a Menagerie of Specimens in Earth's Rarest Pigment

January 21, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Isabelle Simler, shared with permission

French illustrator and author Isabelle Simler deftly renders the liminal time surrounding dusk through a poetic exploration of Earth’s rarest color. The Blue Hour winds through the natural world on a journey to spot the pigment, from a bluejay resting on ice-coated branches to robin’s eggs to midnight skies and ocean depths. Simler focuses on “this time of day, when daytime animals enjoy the last moments before nighttime animals wake up. This in-between where the sounds and smells are denser and where the bluish light gives depth to the landscapes.”

Arranged like a color chart, Simler’s richly cross-hatched drawings display myriad nuances in time, species, and scenery of our ocean-blanketed planet. Because the pigment isn’t naturally occurring—plants, insects, and animals that appear blue are simply reflecting that portion of the spectrum rather than emitting it—the illustrations spotlight the uncommon specimens that populate the world with indigo, turquoise, and azure.

The Blue Hour is available on Bookshop along with a few of Simler’s other illustrated titles. Currently, she’s working on Topsy Turvy, a book that focuses on mimetic insects, which you can follow on her site and Instagram. (via Brain Pickings)

 

 

 



Art

Bold Brushstrokes Energize Abstract, Pixelated Landscapes by Artist Jason Anderson

January 4, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Uprising” (2020). All images © Jason Anderson, shared with permission

Jason Anderson visualizes city skylines, swooping highway exchanges, and a range of urban landscapes through prismatic, impasto strokes of oil paint. The U.K.-based artist begins each painting with a black-and-white sketch before turning to the linen canvas and translating the lively works. In recent months, he’s incorporated more curved lines and saturated tones alongside the pastels he’s used previously, resulting in abstract scenes of horizons and city centers rendered through a mosaic of color.

“I relish the often frantic nature of mixing and arranging the paint in thick impressionistic daubs and submitting to a process that creates its own detail and form,” the artist says in a statement. “This forces me to be bold and decisive; it also produces a kaleidoscope of shape and tone (reminiscent of stained-glass) which portrays the ever-present movement and energy found in nature.”

Although all of Anderson’s works are currently sold out, you can follow updates on his commissions and new pieces on his site and view his finished paintings and sketches on Instagram.

 

“Terminus” (2019)

“Sheer” (2020)

“Mistral” (2020)

“Centrifuge” (2020)

“Plaid” (2020)

“Pulse” (2020)

“Branch” (2020)

“Hearth” (2020)

 

 



Art Photography

Geometric Drone Paths Illuminate the Otherworldly Landscapes of the Southwest in Photos by Reuben Wu

November 25, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Reuben Wu, shared with permission

During recent years, Chicago-based photographer Reuben Wu has visited quiet regions in Bolivia, Nevada’s SolarReserve, and the rivers of molten sulfur flowing in Indonesian volcanoes to capture the natural grandeur of the earth’s outmost layer. In each location, Wu highlights the land’s beauty by juxtaposing the organic features with artificial light cast by drones flying overhead. The resulting images, of which Wu boasts a rich and diverse collection, employ illuminated geometric shapes to spotlight individual features.

Wu’s most recent series, titled Light Storm, brought him to the rocky landscapes of Utah and New Mexico—the photographer doesn’t disclose specifics due to the fragility of the environment. Here, the hovering instruments brighten the stripes and crevices embedded within the stone formations. Like his 2018 series that detailed the melting Pastoruri Glacier in Peru, Light Storm plays a similar role. “I felt like it was an attempt to document and preserve the memory of a landscape in peril,” he shares with Colossal.

Adamant about leaving no trace on the locales he visits, Wu’s process allows him to maintain a distance from his rugged subject matter while creating the conditions necessary for such precise shots. He explains:

Instead of the old photographers’ adage of waiting for the right moment, I’m literally creating it from my position behind the camera. It also allows me to have more creative ownership over a photograph of a landscape. Something I’ve been struggling with as a photographer/artist is the idea that a beautiful landscape is doing all the work for me, so this was an opportunity to finally have more artistic control.

Overall, Wu writes, “the project is about presenting familiar sights in a new and unfamiliar light, renewing your sense of seeing and the experience of discovery.” Prints of his topographical images are available in his shop, and you can find more of his work on Instagram, Twitter, and Behance.

 

 

 



Photography

Moody Photographs by Jan Erik Waider Capture the Rocky Terrain of Icelandic Landscapes

October 1, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Jan Erik Waider, shared with permission

Based in Hamburg, Germany, Jan Erik Waider (previously) frequently travels across Europe to photograph the rocky landscapes and textured terrains of locales like Stuðlagil canyon and Iceland’s sandy shores. On a recent trip to the island country, Waider captured moody images of jagged, basalt-lined waters in four different locations, including Reynisdrangar, Stuðlagil, Kálfshamarsvík, and Gerðuberg. He shares with Colossal:

Not more than 20 million years ago, the island rose out of the sea due to volcanic activity on the ocean floor of the Atlantic Ocean. But even today the landscape is changing due to the constant volcanic activity. There are many places on the island with very bizarre-looking geological formations and I was especially interested in basalt, with its strict and geometric structure and volcanic origin. With the monochrome character of the series, I wanted to focus clearly on the rocks and also give the photos a slightly mysterious character.

Waider generously agreed to allow Colossal to share his photographs on our social media pages for the next few months. To follow his Nordic adventures, head to Instagram and Behance.