miniature

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Art

Upcoming Group Show at Beinart Gallery Celebrates the Intricate Art of Miniatures

February 22, 2020

Andrew LaSane

All images © Beinart Gallery, shared with permission

Melbourne, Australia’s Beinart Gallery is gearing up for an exhibition of small scale paintings, scratch-built models, and tiny sculptures. Co-curated by artist Joshua Smith (previously), the Miniature Art Group Show features impressive works by a group of around 30 artists from around the world.

Close-up photos of the architectural models and other miniatures in the show highlight the level of detail that the artists pack into every square inch. Cardboard, plastic, and paper are painted to resemble weathered wood and metal, while breath mints become the canvas for portraits of The Beatles. Each piece reflects the dozens of hours that went into its meticulous production.

“Art in miniature is inherently impressive by virtue of the precision and patience demanded by its very creation, but that is not where its magic lies,” reads a statement from the gallery. “The magic is in the invitation extended to the viewer to reimagine the world on an entirely different scale[…] Miniature art delights the eye and teases the brain with possibility.”

Miniature Art Group Show opens with a reception on March 7 and the exhibition runs through March 29. For more information and to see the full list of contributing artists, head over to Beinart Gallery’s website.

 

 



Illustration

Pocket-Sized Notebooks Hold Miniature Paintings of Angela Mckay’s Travels

February 18, 2020

Grace Ebert

Riserva Naturale Orientata Cavagrande del Cassibile in Italy. All images © Angela Mckay, shared with permission

Paging through a photo album detailing every moment of a friend’s poolside vacation might not be a riveting activity, but flipping through Angela Mckay’s sketchbooks filled with tiny paintings of her travels certainly is. The Brooklyn-based pattern designer and illustrator of Ohkii Studio documents the lush scenery, cavernous waters, and hilly villages she sees on the streets of Lagos, Calamosche Beach on Italy’s southern coast, and in Joshua Tree National Park. Mckay generally positions her miniature paintings against the real-life backdrop, juxtaposing the two depictions that she then shares on Instagram.

The artist tells Colossal that she frequently recreates some of the pieces in her sketchbooks on a larger scale after returning home, relying on her earlier representation for the tiny details she otherwise might not remember. “Often when I’m traveling, I have this urgent feeling that I need to capture everything I’m experiencing, the sights, feelings and textures of a place,” she says.

I really enjoy that feeling of walking around a new place not knowing what I might discover around the corner. I often try to recreate the feeling of a place I have visited in my personal work… I really enjoy the experience of looking at a painting and being transported back to that experience. It’s a nice way to escape from your day to day!

The pocket-size notebooks are a crucial component of Mckay’s process, and she utilizes them in both her personal projects and her work for clients. “They just allow me to play with ideas and explore other directions without having to commit to anything,” she says. To pick up one of Mckay’s watercolor and gouache artworks or prints, head to her shop. (via Lustik)

Joshua Tree National Park

Calamosche Beach

Lagos, Portugal

Left: Wat Phra That Chom Pho, Thailand. Right: Yosemite National Park

Lagos, Portugal

Right: Margaret River, Western Australia

Lagos, Portugal

 

 



Art Craft

Minimalist Ceramics by Amy Victoria Marsh Exude Positivity and Playfulness

February 10, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Happy Poo,” stoneware clay, underglaze, and transparent glaze, extra large 7 x 7 centimeters, large 5 x 5, regular 4 x 3.5, small 3 x 3. All images © Amy Victoria Marsh

Relying on a simple color palette, Amy Victoria Marsh crafts minimalist ceramics meant to inspire positivity and humor. The Manchester-based artist creates playful pieces ranging from supine women reading to others wrapped up on a sushi bed to her “Happy Poo” collection. Her pastel fortune cookie even comes in an illustrated package with an uplifting saying stuffed inside.

Marsh tells It’s Nice That that much of her lighthearted work has been inspired by a 2016 visit to Japan. “From the typography found everywhere, to the personification of most objects, the Japanese have a unique take on design, which I find hugely inspiring,” she said. Her love for all things tiny, though, began during her childhood. “I was madly into toys such as Polly Pocket and Sylvanian Families and loved looking at illustrated stamps,” she said. “Looking back at my childhood it’s no wonder I’m making some of the work I am today!”

Pick up one of the artist’s cute miniatures in her plastic-free shop, and head to Instagram to see what she creates next.

“Book Worm Chill Ornament,” stoneware clay, underglaze, ceramic pencil, and transparent glaze, 10 x 7 x 7 centimeters

“Love Ceramic Fortune Cookie,” stoneware clay, underglaze, transparent glaze, and paper, 5 x 3 centimeters

“Tamago Feelings,” regular 3.5 x 4.5 x 3 centimeters, small 4 x 2 x 2

“Sake set,” stoneware clay, food and drink safe

“Pink Fluffy Jumper Ornament,” stoneware clay, underglazes, ceramic pencil, and transparent glaze, approximately 11 x 7 x 7 centimeters

“*Seconds* Sushi Lady Ornament,” stoneware glaze, underglazes, and transparent glaze, approximately 6 x 2.5 x 3 centimeters

“Happy Small Cup,” stoneware clay, glaze, ceramic pencil, all cups are food safe

 

 



Craft

Miniature Seascapes and Cities Top Elaborate Paper Wigs by Asya Kozina and Dmitriy Kozin

February 10, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Asya Kozina and Dmitry Kozin, shared with permission

Saint Petersburg-based paper artists Asya Kozina and Dmitriy Kozin situate miniature worlds atop their towering paper wigs. The detailed headdresses combine contemporary themes with historical elements, resembling the extravagant hair and head pieces of the Baroque period. A recent series crafted for Dolce & Gabanna features a whale and lobster with fins and claws woven through and sticking out from the tops of the elaborate pieces. Both have ships, as well, to add a human element. “We did this work and had (the) idea to do works with various marine monsters,” Kozina says. “In the old times, sailors believed in gigantic sea monsters… All characters are taken from folk myths.”

Since Kozina last spoke with Colossal, the scale and complexity of their monochromatic creations have changed, in addition to their public perception. “Our works fell into collections of museums, became symbols of some events related to the history and history of art and fashion,” she writes. “Our work is perceived not as photo props, but as artworks, sculptures, exhibition objects.” Head to Instagram or Behance to check out more of the artists’ sky-high creations.

 

 



Art

Dense Ecosystems with Flowing Water Sources Packed in Vintage Luggage by Kathleen Vance

February 3, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Traveling Landscape, Grey Samsonite,” vintage train case, resin, artificial foliage, soil, water, water pump, and fluorescent light, 13 x 9 x 9 inches. All images © Kathleen Vance, shared with permission

New York City-based artist Kathleen Vance creates lush landscapes brimming with green mosses, foliage, and rocky surfaces all stored in an unusual carrier: vintage suitcases. Vance’s ongoing Traveling Landscapes series connects travel and natural resources, inclining her to incorporate active water components into many of her miniature ecosystems. The artist tells Colossal she hopes to convey that “water and our natural open landscapes are our legacy to the future generations and something that must be protected and cherished.”  Her more recent pieces, like “Traveling Landscape, Spelunker,” deviate from her previous work by including caverns replete with hanging stalactites and stalagmites, or icicle-like rock formations, that she sculpts by hand.

Utilizing found vessels, Vance says she wants to “relate to a time when travel was slower and the distances between us and our homelands and foreign landscapes were more difficult to access.” Each portable environment is designed and retrofit for specific steamer trunks and train cases.

The cases act to abstract the idea of travel and romanticize its idyllic qualities. I am always on the look out for cases that have some indication of travel, with notes and markers which give a feeling that they have really been used for used for transportation of someone’s special or personal items.

To keep up with Vance’s environmentally focused projects, follow her on Instagram.

“Traveling Landscape, Luce,” vintage train case, resin, artificial foliage, soil, water, water pump, and fluorescent light, 11 x 6.5 x 8 inches

“Traveling Landscape, Ornate Silver,” ornate metal and wooden chest, soil, stones, resin, artificial, foliage, and water, 12 x 12 x 17 inches

“Traveling Landscape, Golden Interior,” 12.5 x 5 x 8 inches

“Traveling Landscape, Spelunker,” found traveling case, hand sculpted stalactites and stalagmites, resin, paint, artificial foliage, and soil, 13 x 9 x 9 inches

“Traveling Landscape, Assembly,” antique case, hand sculpted landscape, resin, paint, artificial foliage and trees, and a bulb light

 

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Craft

Miniature Creatures Made of Felted Wool by Nastasya Shuljak

January 31, 2020

Andrew LaSane

Moscow-based artist Nastasya Shuljak transforms packs of wool into sculptures of small animals and other whimsical creatures. Plants sprout from the heads of smiling trees and other natural spirits. Polar bears, foxes, hares, and other critters stare through inquisitive eyes applied to their tiny woolen faces. Shuljak’s toys are an exercise in the flexibility of the material and also a way to bring joy to all who meet them.

Shuljak, a former theater artist and art teacher, tells Colossal that the practice of making creatures began when friends gifted her some wool. With that first bag she made a bear and a hare, and the menagerie has been growing ever since. “I saw children’s sonorous happiness in an adult man holding in his hands what I did,” says Shuljak. “Until now, it touches me, causes surprise and peace.” Commenting on the purpose of the figures, she added that her animals “do not aspire to the exhibition hall, do not claim to be art. These are just small lumps of joy, carefree second smiles.”

Shuljak teaches classes in Moscow on how to create the toys and also sells them via social media. For more information on upcoming workshops and to meet more of these adorable wool creatures, follow Shuljak on Instagram.

 

 



Photography

Snails Paint the Town in Miniature Scenes Crafted by Aleia Murawski and Sam Copeland

January 17, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Aleia Murawski and Sam Copeland, shared with permission

Illinois-based Aleia Murawski and Sam Copeland have a knack for creating miniature—and slimy—worlds just big enough for their tiny acquaintances to glide through. The creative duo is known for constructing realistic domestic settings featuring plastic covered furniture and a messy painting studio occupied by snails for its stills and short films. Now, though, the artists are pushing the critters beyond their comfortable homes for a fun night out. The snails are shot sliding up to a limo, basking under the glimmer of a disco ball, and gobbling up a cheeseburger in a quaint diner.

“It is a really fun challenge for us to come up with these scenes and to find different ways to execute it so it feels believable and lived in, despite its fabrication,” Murawski told Colossal. The bowling scene utilizes a ball controlled by a magnet that the creators shot frame-by-frame as it moved along the alley. That set took multiple days to get right, she says, from using coffee stir sticks to build out the floor to employing a vacuum-foaming machine to construct each chair.

Murawksi says the duo’s process is “very rooted in play and experimentation. We are always looking for new ways to construct different elements in a scene and trying varied techniques to create depth and motion in our work.” To keep up with the snails’ shenanigans, head to Murawski’s Instagram. You can even buy a print of their slippery adventures to add to your collection.

 

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