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Art

Luminescent Zip-Tie Formations Are Shaped into Futuristic Organic Life by Artist Elisabeth Picard

May 1, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Ondulation” (2014), white zip-ties, RGB LED light, and painted plywood, 
36 x 36 x 6 ¼ inches. 
Photo by Michel Dubreuil. All images © Elisabeth Picard, shared with permission

Montreal-based artist Elisabeth Picard curls, fans, and locks together hundreds of zip-ties into tremendously formed glowing sculptures and undulating installations. The futuristic artworks merge geological and organic elements with science fiction to create abstract formations that the artist likens to “landscapes, minerals, plants, micro-organisms, and sea creatures.”

Picard tells Colossal that since she began working with the nylon links in 2011, she’s used more than 300,000 ties. The artist hand-dyes each piece with pastels, earth tones, and sometimes fluorescent hues that will later glow under UV light and add depth with shadows. Some artworks even are assembled with a lightbox backdrop. Each glowing piece is designed to elucidate the contrast between the original material and the final structures, and numeric art, vector drawing, programming, and 3D printing all guide her research.

Find more of Picard’s artworks that consider the future of the natural world on Instagram and Vimeo.

 

“Evolution” (2015), 
dyed zip-ties with plexi lightbox, 
20.5 x 21.5 x 6 inches. Photo by 
Michel Dubreuil

“Volute 1 et Volute 2” (2013), 
dyed zip-ties, 
7 x 7 x 7 and 7 x 8.5 x 8.5 inches. 
Photo by Michel Dubreuil

“Flot” (2011), 
15, 000 zip-ties, glass, painted steel, and fluorescent light, 
28.25 x 76.5 x 38.5 inches. Photo by Michel Dubreuil

“Chlorophyta” (2015), dyed zip-ties with plexi lightbox, 
18.43 x 18.43 x 9.37 inches
. Photo by Michel Dubreuil

Left: “Navicula” (2015), 
dyed zip-ties and plexi plate
, 12 x 7 x 5.5 inches
. Photo by Michel Dubreuil. Top right: “Spirale” (2013), dyed zip-ties,
 13 x 10 x 4 inches. 
Photo by Michel Dubreuil. Bottom right: “Staurastrum” (2015
), dyed zip-ties and plexi tablet
, 9 x 8.5 x 8.25 inches. Photo by Michel Dubreuil

“Strongylocentrotus” (2013), 
dyed zip-ties, with plexi lightbox, 
15 x 15.75 x 8 inches. 
Photo by Michel Dubreuil

“Macro-organismes: Couronne” (2011-2016
), zip-ties, baked enamel steel, plexi lightbox, and programmable RGB LED, 
19 x 19 x 8 inches. 
Photo by Michel Dubreuil

 

 



Design

Sunlight Streams into a Windowless Church Made of Wooden Slats in Japan

April 20, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Taira Nishizawa

The understated inside of a church in Shizuoka, Japan, lacks the traditional iconography and ornate trimmings often found in similar spaces. Designed by Tokyo-based architect Taira Nishizawa, Sunpu Church is a windowless building made mostly of slatted pine. The open roof allows sunlight to fill the space and cast moving shadows depending on the time of day. It also creates a direct view upward to the sky.

Because the modest building is located next to a busy railway, Nishizawa soundproofed the outer walls to ensure a quiet space for worshipers. In an interview with Arch Eyes, he spoke about his conceptualization process.

The Church Sun-Pu required specific spatial qualities. Just thinking functionally about a church, it’s not much different from a classroom. But the space must feel very different, so I needed a strategy to control that environment directly…I manipulated the performance of the external walls and roof to control the light and sound conditions, which are what distinguishes a church from a normal classroom or meeting place.

Despite its singular cross and intricate entrance panel, the red cedar facade is similarly stark and has turned gray since it was built in 2008. Follow what Nishizawa’s up to on Twitter, and check out the book chronicling his wooden projects. (via Jeroen Apers)

 

 



Art Craft

Neon-Illuminated Glass Orchids by Laura Hart Consider the Flowers’ Fragility and Resiliency

April 16, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Orchis Exotica Cattleya Amethyst,” fused and sculpted glass with neon, 44.5 x 47.5 x 17 centimeters. All images © Laura Hart, shared with permission

Made of translucent glass, Laura Hart’s brilliant orchids appear to be the paragon of delicacy: the fleshy petals and neon-illuminated columns are in full bloom, representing a fleeting stage of life that’s modeled with an easily breakable substance. The Suffolk-based artist, though, is more concerned with the floral family’s historical resilience and aptitude for survival.

There are 28,000 known species of orchids, which 100-million-year-old fossil records prove were the first to bloom. “Representing a quarter of the world’s flowering plants, there are four times as many orchid species as there are mammals and twice as many birds,” Hart says. In her newest series, Orchis Exotica—which debuted earlier this year as part of Collect 2020 with Vessel Gallery—the central neon light is a nod to orchids’ efforts to attract necessary pollinators to ensure their survival. These successful strategies prove their adaptability, Hart says, a move she connects to Charles Darwin’s evolutionary theories.

Manacled by religious dogma of his time, he risked a charge of heresy had he cited another organism equally successful in achieving global population through adaptability. Though there is very little anecdotal record of his personal resolve that humans were the ultimate example of his revelatory theory, there can be no doubt he believed it to be so…The bi-coloured neon centres illuminate the uncanny resemblance between orchid and human reproductive organs; a parallel unlikely missed by the great man himself.

Orchis Exotica is an extension of Hart’s previous flowers that had similarly perfect symmetry but lacked the glowing portions. Despite LED lights being simpler to use, Hart tells Colossal she prefers the traditional mechanisms. “Why neon? Well, I am a lover of the light/art form; very much a rarity in itself these days with the advent of LED neon tube usurping traditional glass,” she writes. Constructed with a combination of 3D design software and traditional technique, each piece is hand fused and slumped to create the half-meter-wide flowers. They undergo multiple firings.

Of course, unlike living orchids, Hart’s sculptures prove their durability by their failure to wilt. Head to Instagram and Facebook to follow her vibrant works, and see which are available for purchase from Vessel Gallery.

“Orchis Exotica Cattleya Pink striker,” fused and sculpted glass with neon, 44.5 x 47.5 x 17 centimeters

“Orchis Exotica Cymbidium Baby Pink,” fused and sculpted glass with neon, 47 x 57 x 17.5 centimeters

“Orchis Exotica Cymbidium Baby Pink,” fused and sculpted glass with neon, 47 x 57 x 17.5 centimeters

“Orchis Exotica Cymbidium Black Knight,” fused and sculpted glass with neon, 47 x 57 x 17.5 centimeters

“Orchis Exotica Phalaenopsis Appaloosa,” fused and sculpted glass with neon, 48.5 x 51 x 18 centimeters

“Orchis Exotica Phalaenopsis Violet,” fused and sculpted glass with neon, 48.5 x 51 x 18 centimeters

 

 



Art

Textured Paper Sculptures by Zai Divecha Emphasize Shadow and Light

April 10, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Draco” (2019), paper, wood, LEDs, 40 x 72 x 3 inches. All images © Zai Divecha

San Francisco-based artist Zai Divecha fashions countless pleats, creases, and flaps for her monochromatic paper sculptures. From geometric tessellations to flat sheets with dozens of rounded cuts and points, Divecha’s pieces accentuate the relationships between light and shadow and natural and manufactured elements.

Her inspiration is wide-ranging and includes “bathroom tiles, clouds, storm drains, the ‘skeletons’ of dead cactuses, peeling bark, raindrops on a car window, rock formations, ornate screens in Islamic architecture.” The artist also has woven data into her textured pieces, creating four artworks that represent HIV and AIDS diagnoses in San Francisco from 1992 to 2018. Each piece contains a series of cut flaps to visualize the number of cases.

In a statement, Divecha said her fascination with paper is derived from transforming an ephemeral, mundane substance into a permanent artwork. Only recently has she employed a single color. “The all-white palette allows me to create pattern and texture with just light and shadow alone, which feels soothing to me. I aim to create work that makes people feel centered, quiet, and focused,” she said. “I want my work to feel like a respite from an overstimulating world.” The move coincided with a switch in her personal life to limit her sensory input, meaning she forgoes fragrance and sets strict boundaries on the noises she consumes.

Keep up with Divecha’s crimped and twisted work on Instagram, and take a peek at these tutorials she released on making paper stars and garlands.

“Draco” (2019), paper, wood, LEDs, 40 x 72 x 3 inches

“Canis Major” (2019), paper, wood, LEDs, 31 x 93 x 3 inches

“Canis Major” (2019), paper, wood, LEDs, 31 x 93 x 3 inches

“Canis Major” (2019), paper, wood, LEDs, 31 x 93 x 3 inches

“Aids Diagnoses in San Francisco, 1992” (2019), paper, 11 x 14 x 0.5 inches

“HIV Diagnoses in San Francisco, 2009” (2019), paper, 11 x 14 x 0.5 inches

 

 



Art

A Massive Wave of Luminous Figures Scales a Dark Wall in Ataraxia by Eugenio Cuttica

April 6, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Eugenio Cuttica

One-hundred five fiberglass figures stand atop white chairs in rows that extend from the floor to the ten-meter high ceiling. Part of an exhibition titled Ataraxia, the LED-lit installation invokes the ideas behind the Greek word, which roughly translates to imperturbability, equanimity, and tranquility. The glowing project by Argentinian artist Eugenio Cuttica was on view in 2018 at the MAR Museum in Buenos Aires and explored the ways subjects can achieve balance and happiness through freedom from desire.

Ataraxia, the artist said in a statement, “points to a calm beauty, a calm but agitating act, moves the spirit and can even cause fear. It is an art that refers to the observer’s consciousness in its own insignificance and in unity with nature.” In addition to the expansive wave, the exhibition also featured a series of wooden boats and paintings meant to reflect on fertility, abundance, the sublime qualities of Argentinian landscapes, and the ways art and food intersect. The same feminine form is interspersed throughout and can be seen standing in one of the suspended vessels.

Cuttica currently splits his time between his studios in Buenos Aires, New York, Miami, and Milan. For more of the artist’s figurative projects, follow him on Instagram. (via Sophie N Gunnol)

 

 



Art

A Hanging Mobile of Bronze Hand Sculptures Casts Playful Silhouettes of Animals

February 26, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Os Pássaros e o Lobo” (2017), bronze, steel cables, metal bars, and light projector, 200 x 200. Image © Casa Triângulo

A bronze piece by Brazilian artist Albano Afonso uses multiple sets of dangling hands that mimic shadow puppetry. Titled “Os Pássaros e o Lobo,” or “The Birds and the Wolf,” the sculpture is illuminated by a light projector, casting dark silhouettes on the wall behind it that resembles a mobile of active animals. In a statement, Afonso is described as being “interested in the anatomy of light: its intensity or softness, its ability to both illuminate and obscure, its sources, its symbolic and utilitarian uses, and its beauty.” You can follow his light-sensitive projects on Instagram.

 

 



Photography

Winter Sun Casts Icelandic Mountain Range in Alluring Candy-Colored Hues

February 21, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images @ Patrycja Pati Makowska, shared with permission

Iceland-based photographer Patrycja Pati Makowska utilizes the natural allure of Reykjavic’s landscape to capture her striking images that rely on the sunrise and sunset to transform a mountain shot into an idyllic work. Taken from Hallgrimskirkja, a church in Reykjavic, Makowska’s 2019 Texture of the Mt. Esja in the Winter Sun series shows the sunlight illuminating the top of the icy mountains with pink hues. The light fades into shades of purples and blues as it recedes into shadows of the snow-covered ground. Mount Esja, which is actually a volcanic mountain range rather than an individual summit, sits about 10 kilometers north of the nation’s capital city. At its peak, it reaches nearly 3,000 feet. For more of Makowska’s light-centric images, head to Instagram or Behance. (via Fubiz)