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Art Craft

Metal Sculptor Shota Suzuki Crafts Exquisitely Detailed Blooms That Express the Passing of Time

November 25, 2022

Kate Mothes

All images © Shota Suzuki, shared with permission

Tender stems bear lush blooms and windswept leaves gather around new growth in artist Shota Suzuki’s delicate metal sculptures. Rendered in painstaking detail, the forms are inspired by flora around his home and studio in Kyoto, such as Japanese maple trees and dandelions that have gone to seed. “Recently, I have been adding rain and wind to my work,” he tells Colossal, sharing that he’s inspired by the way nature demonstrates the passing of time. He adds silvery water droplets to ginkgo leaves, ruffles the petals of flowers, or portrays a branch of cherry blossoms as if it has blown from a tree.

An early interest in jewelry led Suzuki to study metalworking, and the exquisite detail of florals and foliage suited his ability to work on a small scale. A wide range of patinas create a life-like appearance, achieved by combining an array of chemicals that produce specific hues and textures, including traditional Japanese copper coloration methods such as niiro. “I don’t want to create works in which time stands still,” he says. “I want to express a moment in time.”

Suzuki’s work is included in Natural Mastery: Lacquer and Silver Works from Japan at Stuart Lochhead Sculpture in London from December 1 to 9. You can find more work on his website and Instagram.

 

A realistic sculpture of a tree sapling growing from dead leaves, made from metal.

 A realistic sculpture of flowers made from metal, photographed on a table.

A realistic sculpture of flowers made from metal.

A realistic sculpture of ginkgo leaves made from metal.

A realistic sculpture of a stem of cherry blossoms made from metal.

A realistic sculpture of dried leaves made from metal.

A realistic sculpture of gold ginkgo leaves with silver droplets, made from metal.

 

 

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Art

Mysterious Creatures Emerge from Recycled Materials in Sculptures by Spencer Hansen

November 8, 2022

Kate Mothes

Two sculptures by Spencer Hansen in the snowy mountains near Aspen, Colorado.

“BADU” and “FINCH” in collaboration with Jason Siegel. All images © Spencer Hansen, shared with permission

Long-legged creatures don otherwordly masks in sculptures by Bali-based artist Spencer Hansen, whose work explores identity and connection through a cast of uncanny characters. Using primarily natural, found, and recycled materials like wood, metal, bone, plant fibers, and ceramic, he draws inspiration from surrounding environment and frequent travels. Originally from Idaho, he relocated to Bali where he built a workshop that houses studios and live-work space for a team of skilled artisans who help to bring the pieces to life.

Alongside business partner Shayne Maratea, with whom he founded independent clothing and art company BLAMO, Hansen often collaborates with artists and photographers to merge sculpture and performance. Intended to inspire curiosity and play, the characters are carved and assembled in a variety of scales, from toy-like figurines to life-size suits, with mysterious faces.

Hansen will be showing work with Skye Gallery at Aqua Art Miami at the end of this month and has a solo exhibition opening in December at Samuel Lynne Galleries in Dallas. You can find more of his work on his website and Instagram.

 

A sculpture by Spencer Hansen of a bat-like mask.

“BOBA”

A sculpture by Spencer Hansen of a fuzzy suit with a metallic, faceless mask.

“Eternal Embrace” collaboration with Naomi Samara. Suit worn by Aleph Geddis. Hands: Naomi Samara, Chantal Ka, and Shayne Maratea

Two sculptural figures by Spencer Hansen.

Left: “EQUUS.” Right: “Tikus”

A group of wooden, abstracted, figurative sculptures by Spencer Hansen.

Two mask sculptures by Spencer Hansen.

Left: Head of “LELA.” Right: “M11 Topeng Barat”

Artist Spencer Hansen standing next to a life-size sculpture with a bat-like mask, all in white.

“LELA”

Three wooden mask-like sculptures by Spencer Hansen.

“M11,” “M12,” and “M13”

A group of ceramic sculptures by Spencer Hansen in progress with carving materials.

 

 



Art Craft

Expressive Wildlife Portraits are Captured in Elegant Scrap Metal Sculptures by Leah Jeffery

October 26, 2022

Kate Mothes

All images shared with permission © Leah Jeffery. Photographs by Katie Jeffery

When it comes to scrap metal, Hogansville, Georgia-based artist Leah Jeffery has honed an instinct for transforming old bike parts, cutlery, and offcuts into a captivating menagerie of expressive animals. During her senior year of high school, she began exploring different trades, and after signing up for a welding class, discovered a natural skill with metalworking. She became interested in re-using discarded materials, and her first project was a great horned owl, which spurred an ongoing series portraying an array of wildlife.

Now working as Bruised Reed Studio, her practice centers around the proverbial turning of trash into treasure. “There is something about taking what was discarded and giving it new life,” she says. “I use any scrap metal I can find—mostly old bicycle parts and flatware, or people will give me their random metal junk.” Each sculpture is one-of-a-kind, formed from in a wide variety of textures, densities, and patinas to expressively capture an eagle’s intense gaze, a butterfly’s wings, or a sloth’s lazy grin.

You can follow Bruised Reed Studio on Instagram, and find more work on her website.

 

 

 



Art

Innumerable Safety Pins Link into Tamiko Kawata’s Sculptures that Juxtapose Chaos with Quietude

October 18, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Tamiko Kawata, courtesy of the artist and courtesy of Garvey | Simon Gallery, New York, shared with permission

The humble safety pin finds itself at the center of Tamiko Kawata’s meditative practice as its assembled into metallic wall hangings and sculptures that bulge and protrude from their bases. Accentuating the interplay of light and shadow, the Japan-born New York-based artist, who is almost 90 years old and still working, capitalizes on the simplicity of the thin wire and clasps. She groups and links the fasteners into sprawling forms or textures pieces that evoke tapestries woven with different colored threads.

Exploring the tension between lively disarray and a more meditative quality, Kawata prefers to begin with unassuming objects. She says in a statement:

Discarded materials are important to me because of environmental issues and also as a reflection of my current life. My choice of materials and interpretation are influenced by the differences that I experience between life in America and in Japan, where I grew up. I often use repetition and aim to create energy and chaos, within quiet stillness.

Kawata is one-half of Disquiet, an exhibition running from October 29, 2022, to January 8, 2023, at Pamela Salisbury Gallery in Hudson, New York. Find more of her works at Garvey | Simon, where she’s represented.

 

 

 



Art Craft

Vessels of Woven Copper Wire by Sally Blake Mimic the Patterns of Natural Lifeforms

August 18, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Sally Blake, shared with permission

From her studio in Canberra, Australian artist Sally Blake (previously) twists and plaits copper wire into baskets and sculptures evocative of the organic matter ubiquitous around the planet. Seed pods, sprawling networks of bulbous pockets and thin, sinuous veins, and mammalian bronchial systems emerge from the malleable material, and through intricately woven motifs, Blake accentuates the tension between delicacy and resilience inherent to natural life. “Visualisation of the natural laws and patterning that hold people in relationship with Earth, as well as the consequences of these unravelling, is my focus,” she tells Colossal. “I feel deeply about disconnections in human understanding and care of the natural world, which result in environmental crises”

Currently, Blake is working on metallic vessels for a solo show opening on October 20 at Canberra’s Grainger Gallery, in addition to sculptures for a group exhibition in Sydney later this fall. She has a few baskets, in addition to stitched pieces and other two-dimensional works, available in her shop, and you can follow her latest projects—which include drawing all of the world’s owl species—on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Gleaming Sculptures by Ann Carrington Examine the Underbelly of Historical Extravagance

August 1, 2022

Kate Mothes

“Sugarland,” steel, silver, and nickel plated spoons. All images © Ann Carrington, shared with permission.

In The Netherlands in the 17th Century, a Golden Age was in full swing. The economy of the Dutch Republic, as it was then known, was flourishing as Antwerp and other ports became important hubs for the commercial shipping trade, importing and exporting textiles, spices, and metals, and the cities’ populations swelled. Elaborately detailed oil paintings depicting food on the table or incredible flower arrangements were popular additions to wealthy merchants’ homes, yet a more ominous genre of still-life painting also emerged amid this period of immense growth.

Known as Vanitas, the paintings brim with symbolism intended to emphasize the futility of earthly pleasures and the pointlessness of seeking wealth, power, and glory. When British artist Ann Carrington visited the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, she described in Architectural Digest that “looking at those pictures of half-consumed food and fading flowers, I realized that one of the only things that could have survived to today was the silverware, and I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be fun to try to make something out of that?’” The works in her Bouquets series (previously) combine hundreds of kitchen utensils into extravagant floral sculptures.

The use of discarded and found objects is central to Carrington’s practice, especially when they can be layered and draped in multiples. Strands of pearls and ornate brooches adorn the form of a ship, which is weighed down by its cargo as much as it embodies it, and a pair of caribou antlers are fashioned from forks with handles made from dozens of antlers. “Mundane objects such as knives and forks, barbed wire, pins, and paintbrushes come with their own readymade histories and associations which can be unravelled and analysed if rearranged, distorted or realigned to give them new meaning as sculpture,” she says in a statement. Similar to the way Vanitas painting reminded viewers of the less romantic side of burgeoning wealth and expanding empires, Carrington’s material choices serve as a reminder that beneath the gleaming surface there is often a dark side.

You can find more information about the artist’s work on her website and Instagram.

 

“Sheng Fa Wave,” steel, pearl necklaces, and brooches

Detail of “Sheng Fa Wave”

“Orb Weaver,” steel armature with brass insects

Detail of “Orb Weaver”

“Southern Belle,” steel, silver, and nickel plated spoons

“Madame Moulliere,” silver, steel, and nickel plated spoons

Detail of “Madame Moulliere”

“Oberhasli,” silver plated knives and forks

 

 

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Sailing Ship Kite