Thousands of Leaves Transition from Summer to Fall in a Hypnotic Stop-Motion Short
Bay Area-animator Brett Foxwell is drawn to the vast array of colors and textures within the natural world. His 2017 short film “WoodSwimmer” zeroed in on the unique grain of cross-cut trees, and his latest project similarly centers on organic diversity by highlighting thousands of leaves as they change from their summer to autumn hues.
In the mesmerizing stop-motion short, rapid flashes of foliage dance on the black backdrop and illuminate the unique bend of a stem, variances in veins, and the way verdant pigments drain from each specimen in inconsistent patterns. “While collecting leaves, I conceived that the leaf shape of every single plant type I could find would fit somewhere into a continuous animated sequence of leaves if that sequence were expansive enough. If I didn’t have the perfect shape, it meant I just had to collect more leaves,” he shares about the project.
“The Book of Leaves” accompanies Foxwell’s larger project “Leaf Presser,” a trippier animation of the same nature, which you can find along with his other works on Vimeo. (via The Kids Should See This)
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Delicate Crocheted Patterns Splice and Embellish Susanna Bauer’s Dried Leaf Sculptures
Vintage lace and the intricate innards of cells influence the thread components of Susanna Bauer’s crocheted works. The German artist, who lives in the U.K., stitches leaves she’s found, washed, and dried, a painstaking process made more laborious by the inherent fragility of the material. “Taking time beneath trees, gathering leaves, contemplating their shapes, imperfections, and details lies at the basis of my process. Along with this quiet gathering, stories form, dialogues between leaves emerge, reflections on time and change and interpersonal connections,” Bauer shares.
Many of the artist’s recent works are on view as part of her solo show Gathering Stories, which translates those conversations and themes into three-dimensional pieces. Similar to her earlier series, this new collection is diverse in species and crocheted patterns. In “Sum of Parts,” various segments from six different trees are spliced with natural cotton thread, while “Blossom” surrounds a single magnolia leaf with fibrous filigree.
Gathering Stories is on view through January 14, 2023, at Le Salon Vert in Carouge, Geneva. You can find more of her work on her site and Instagram.
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Jurassic Nature: Botanical Assemblages by Raku Inoue Recreate Dinosaurs in Leafy Layers
In his ongoing Jurassic Nature series, Japanese artist Raku Inoue layers sprigs of kiwi vines, white spruce, and boxelder maple into miniature sculptural dinosaurs. The ribbed, veiny textures of the leaves mimic the reptilian skin of some of the most recognizable characters from the 1993 classic. Minimal in form and lush in construction, the creatures include a dandelion-headed brontosaurus, a stegosaurus with spiky raspberry leaves defining its back, and a velociraptor laced with forget-me-nots.
Inoue is adding a few more dinosaurs to the series, so keep an eye on his Instagram for updates. You can also find prints of a variety of his botanical creatures in his shop. (via Lustik)
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Vibrant Embroideries by Hillary Waters Fayle Enhance the Natural Beauty of Preserved Leaves
Favoring thread and found materials, Richmond-based artist Hillary Waters Fayle (previously) works at the intersection of textile traditions and botany. “Stitching, like horticulture, can be functional,” she says, “a technical solution to join materials/a means of survival. Or, both can be done purely in service of the soul, lifting the spirit through beauty and wonder.”
Fayle’s practice embodies this sentiment with elaborate and colorful embroideries applied to dried leaves. Lined with brown edges, the perfectly preserved surfaces become more fragile as they age, and the threaded embellishments enhance the relationship between the natural and fabricated. “There is a sense of magic in being able to work with such an unexpected and exquisite material,” the artist says. “The tension in the thread, the type of stitching, the needle, the species, and the season are just some of the factors that may influence what happens.” Recent pieces include ornate networks in blue on ginkgo, floral motifs on eucalyptus, and red dots on golden leaves.
This summer, Fayle’s works will be on view at Quirk Gallery in Charlottesville, Virginia, and this fall at Asheville’s Momentum Gallery. Until then, explore more of her stitched works, in addition to leafy cutouts and large-scale murals, on Instagram.
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Foliage Sprouts from Four Imaginative Clay Illustrations by Irma Gruenholz
It’s easy to mistake Irma Gruenholz’s whimsical ceramic figures for two-dimensional illustrations. The Madrid-based artist (previously) is known for her sculptures and still lifes in clay that resemble flat graphics and drawings, although her works require precise positioning and photographing before they’re printed in the pages of a magazine or children’s book.
In addition to working on commissions for major publications and brands in the last few years, Gruenholz’s most recent projects include four imaginative figures tattooed with foliage and sprouting leafy branches from their heads. “During Covid lockdown, I have had time to reflect and realize how important it is to respect your internal rhythm when you are creating,” she says. “I think there has to be another way of living, a slow life good for the people and for the planet.”
Head to Behance and Instagram for glimpses into the process behind these fantastical figures and to explore a larger archive of the artist’s illustrative work.
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Hundreds of Hand-Sculpted Flowers and Leaves Envelop Porcelain Vessels by Artist Hitomi Hosono
Japanese artist Hitomi Hosono (previously) translates the billowing leaves of an underwater plant or the clusters of Hawthorn tree flowers into intricate sculptural assemblages devoid of their natural colors. The monochromatic bowls and vases appear to sprout incredibly detailed botanicals that Hosono layers in tight wraps and dense bunches, and while stylized in presentation, each form is derived from hours of research and observation of real specimens.
Currently living in London, Hosono draws on memories of her home in Gifa Prefecture to inform much of her work, and she allows the medium itself to dictate her practice. While some of the botanical forms are inspired by specific encounters with the environment like walks through the city’s parks, others are spontaneous and spurred by a hunk of material already evocative of a leaf or petal. “When handling the porcelain clay itself, then my old memories of nature in Japan come flooding back through my hands—abstract and uncertain when it was in my mind. Kneading, brushing, patting, carving, there are many processes before the shape emerges from the porcelain clay and begins to take the form of my tactile memory,” she explains.
In a note to Colossal, Hosono says she’s been interested lately in combining small florals with larger foliage, a contrast evident in “A Tall Peony and Leaves Vase” and “A Tall Tsutsuji Tower.” She describes the process for the latter:
This flower is so much a part of my childhood memories; we had Tutsuji in our home garden, at school, along the street, nearby parks, almost everywhere in Japan. Making the delicate tip of the Tsutsuji petal is challenging. I use a very small fine brush to curl the end of each petal. This must be done slowly and gently as the ends become incredibly fragile. Then I assemble the petals by hand to make each flower and place these one-by-one.
No matter the size, every element is hand-sculpted and arranged with similar pieces into a floret or layered onto the larger vessel, which typically takes a year or more to complete.
Hosono is currently represented by Adrian Sassoon, where you can explore more of her most recent works, and follow her on Instagram to stay up-to-date with her practice.
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Highlights below. For the full collection click here.