Australian sculptor and installation artist Georgie Seccull creates large-scale stainless steel sculptures of animals and other creatures seemingly locked in motion. Comprised of numerous pieces cut from metal sheets, the materials lend themselves to organic forms like feathers, scales, wings, or the armaments of crustaceans. Seccull’s work scales up dramatically in her installation practice where she’s filled entire rooms and atriums with suspended pieces.
“We are born out of chaos in darkness and come into the light—my process is much the same: I begin with a thousand pieces scattered on the ground, then working almost like a jigsaw puzzle, I pick them up one by one and allow each piece to come together organically and dictate the outcome,” the artist shares in a statement.
One of Seccull’s most recent sculptures has been nominated for a Beautiful Bizarre People’s Choice art prize, and she has an upcoming solo show at the Gasworks Art Park near Melbourne. You can see more of her work on Instagram.
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Los Angeles-based designer Laura Estrada handcrafts sustainable jewelry pieces that are conceptually driven, sculptural adornments for the body and face. She uses ancient metalsmithing techniques to create timeless, wearable heirlooms that merge fashion with art. “From a very young age, I have been building little objects with my hands, ” Estrada explains. “This obsession manifested itself when I took a metalsmithing class in college.”
Metal is the designer’s chosen medium, and she describes it as a fierce, unforgiving, stubborn, resilient, and enduring material. “It reminded me of myself,” she explains. After receiving her BFA, Estrada undertook an apprenticeship with a master jeweler, an experience that refined her skills before she launched Laura Estrada Jewelry in 2018.
The designer finds her inspiration from diverse influences—whether observing nature while out on a hike or the images she comes across in art history books. “My ideas also thrive in a collaborative environment, and my conceptual work often starts with conversations or projects with other creatives, that then evolve into a deeper, more experimental direction for the work,” Estrada explains.
When creating her body-spanning pieces, the designer’s artistic process is sometimes chaotic, and she initially starts working and modeling with metal. “I have found even if I sketch it out before, everything changes when it becomes three dimensional,” she explains. “The metal takes on shapes and forms that I piece together repeatedly until it feels right, then I solder it all together. I work very intuitively and do my best to trust the flow of my creative process.”
Estrada’s jewelry evokes a sense of resilience, empowerment, and confidence. The physical and conceptual construction of her pieces merges the innovation and integrity of ancient design practices with future technologies, and she finds unique methods to harmonize the two. As she explains, “With a focus on the intersection between art, technology, and identity, my recent exploration of masks and face pieces as ritual adornment aim to empower the wearer in their chosen form of identity and individuality.”
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Artist Glen Taylor solders ridges of metal to porcelain fragments, completing a halved teacup or broken saucer with a range of unusual materials: barbed wire, tarnished silverware, old book pages, and multicolored twine form a portion of the household objects. Each intervention contrasts the pristine, delicate qualities of the porcelain with the visible rust, unwieldy strings, and patchwork metals.
A cabinetmaker for much of his life, Taylor originally worked with pottery but found it limiting until he started breaking his ceramics into pieces. “I had read about the ancient art of Kintsugi and decades before I had learned how to copper foil and solder stained glass windows. All of a sudden I felt the emotional expressive range was infinite,” he writes. A Japanese art form, Kintsugi is the process of fixing broken pottery and celebrating the repairs, rather than try to hide them.
Now, Taylor gathers materials at auctions and estate sales, choosing pieces that spur an emotional response or nostalgia for his childhood, although some objects have a more personal connection. “For years, I have had my grandmother’s dishes in the attic, wondering what to do with them,” he says. “My mother died last year and so I have let the grieving process appear when it needs to. I released a lot of emotions about my mother when I started breaking the dishes that she grew up with.”
The artist tells Colossal that the broken pieces also are symbolic of imperfection. “As I began mending and recreating my broken pottery, the personal therapy and healing became the whole point,” he says. “I reached an age where I began sorting through the emotional baggage of my life, and the elements for my work became apparent.”
For a deeper look into Taylor’s mended works and a glimpse at his process, follow him Instagram.
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Chicago-based artist Rosemary Holliday Hall envisions transformation through Encyclia Imagosis, a sculptural series that brings the physical processes of insect metamorphosis to a human scale. The four artworks consist of oxidized fabric stretched across metal structures, creating a translucent form that highlights the spacious shape of the wireframe. Similar to insect chrysalises, the meshy works serve as a symbolic site for change. “Encyclia Imagosis investigates various ways we make sense of the world and relate to ourselves and others through imagination, metaphor, and material,” the artist writes.
Holliday Hall envisioned the project as merging her own physicality with the metamorphic processes of “microbes, insects, pollinators, and decomposed, who construct and deconstruct our world, for inspiration into ways of being,” she says. “I made these sculptures to imagine what it would be like to be a caterpillar in a self-made structure, whose purpose was to hold my disintegrated body as it transforms into another body.”
Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Holliday Hall says Encyclia Imagosis has become more immediate and visceral.
Some days, becoming unrecognizable to myself, it seems the world and our systems are slushy slop in individual COVID chrysalises, amidst a painful collective metamorphosis… Now, more than ever, we are faced with the fragility and interdependence of our own bodies and the systems we inhabit. I keep returning to the chrysalis, for both solace and inspiration in that, the chrysalis is a messy, painful, and disorienting space, but within the mush there are imaginal seeds for transformation.
For more of the artist’s projects that merge natural processes and art, check out her Instagram.
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Rotterdam-based David Moreno (previously) prefers his spatial pieces to oscillate between initial sketches of architectural projects and fully-realized constructions. His steel sculptures are comprised of lengthy metal strips and piano strings that are arranged to form building complexes, cathedrals, and steep flights of stairs. Despite being three-dimensional artworks, they mimic an architect’s outlines with their swooping lines and grid-like qualities. Moreno shares a plethora of his imaginative projects on Behance, in addition to some progress shots on his Instagram.
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By hammering and welding more than 20,0000 metal pieces together, artist Selçuk Yılmaz (previously) creates massive sculptures that manifest the energy of the natural world as it becomes more damaged by humans and climate change. The Turkey-based artist’s latest project, Blue Planet, took almost two years to complete and features a human figure in addition to Yılmaz’s usual animals, like a nearly 10-foot-tall lion that weighs approximately 220 pounds.
Yılmaz tells Colossal he wanted the project to speak to environmental destruction, so he placed a human hand at the bottom of the arranged piece to signify it being the root cause. A lurking vulture waits nearby, hoping to eat the other animals after they die. “The woman holds her hand on a blue planet as if (to) save everything. It’s like a chaos,” he says. For more of the artist’s imposing creations, head to Behance or Instagram.
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