multiples

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Art Design Photography Science

Artful Swirls of Plastic Marine Debris Documented in Images by Photographer Mandy Barker

April 19, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

SOUP – Refused © Mandy Barker. Ingredients; plastic oceanic debris affected by chewing and attempted ingestion by animals. Includes a toothpaste tube. Additives; teeth from goats.

Photographer Mandy Barker creates deceptively eye-catching images to document the pandemic of plastic debris in the world’s waterways. Barker, who is based in Leeds, UK, works closely with scientists to collect trash from our oceans and beaches on the edges of nearly every continent. One research expedition covered the debris field (stretching to Hawaii) that resulted from Japan’s 2011 tsunami and earthquake; she has also explored the Inner Hebrides in Scotland with Greenpeace.

Barker manipulates her findings in Photoshop, mimicking the manner in which ocean water holds these objects in suspension. Swirls of colors and patterns draw in the viewer’s eye, only to realize that these visually appealing compositions consist of garbage that animals have attempted to chew, plastic pellets, tangles of fishing line, and water-logged soccer balls. The artist describes her work in a statement on her website:

The aim of my work is to engage with and stimulate an emotional response in the viewer by combining a contradiction between initial aesthetic attraction along with the subsequent message of awareness. The research process is a vital part of my development as the images I make are based on scientific fact which is essential to the integrity of my work.

Barker is currently a recipient of a 2018 National Geographic Society grant. Her work is on display through April 22nd at Mexico City’s Museum of Modern Art, at Photo London Art Fair in May 2018, at the Triennial of Photography in Hamburg in June, 2018, and at BredaPhoto in The Netherlands in September 2018. The artist’s book, Beyond Drifting: Imperfectly Known Animals, was named one of the ten best books of 2017 by Smithsonian. You can see more of Barker’s photographs on her website as well as on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

EVERY… snowflake is different (detail) © Mandy Barker. Ingredients; white marine plastic debris objects collected in two single visits to a nature reserve on the East Coast of England.

EVERY… snowflake is different © Mandy Barker. Ingredients: white marine plastic debris objects collected in two single visits to a nature reserve on the East Coast of England.

Hong Kong Soup:1826 – Lighter © Mandy Barker. Discarded cigarette lighters make reference to our single-use throw away society. The panda, a national emblem of China represents endangered species and faces away from the group symbolizing mother nature turning its back on man’s inability to take ownership of its waste.

Hong Kong Soup:1826 – Spilt © Mandy Barker. 150 tonnes of pre-production plastic pellets (nurdles) spilt from a cargo container during Typhoon Vincente on 23rd July 2012 adds to Hong Kong’s waste issues in its seas and on its beaches.

PENALTY – Europe © Mandy Barker. 633 marine plastic debris footballs (and pieces of) recovered from 23 countries and islands within Europe, from 104 different beaches, and by 62 members of the public, in just 4 months.

PENALTY – The World © Mandy Barker. 769 marine plastic debris footballs (and pieces of) collected from 41 countries and islands around the world, from 144 different beaches and by 89 members of the public in just 4 months.

PENALTY – 24 Footballs © Mandy Barker.

SHOAL – 30.41N, 157.51E © Mandy Barker.Included in trawl: child’s ball and Japanese character – fridge magnet found on the tsunami shoreline. Fishing buoy found in trawl sample, North pacific Ocean

SHOAL 33.15N, 151.15E © Mandy Barker. Included in trawl: tatami mat from the floor of a Japanese home, fishing related plastics, buoys, nylon rope, buckets, fish trays, polystyrene floats, shampoo bottle, caps, balloon & holder, petrol container.

SOUP – Alphabet © Mandy Barker. Ingredients; plastic debris that includes surface text. Ironic random arrangement of 4 pieces of plastic that suggest a warning; ‘Sea’ ‘AND’ ‘HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES’ ‘FOUL’

SOUP: Bird’s Nest © Mandy Barker. Ingredients; discarded fishing line that has formed nest-like balls due to tidal and oceanic movement. Additives; other debris collected in its path.

SOUP – Ruinous Remembrance © Mandy Barker. Ingredients; plastic flowers, leaves, stems, and fishing line. Additives; bones, skulls, feathers, and fish.

SOUP: Turtle © Mandy Barker.

WHERE © Mandy Barker. Ingredients; marine debris balloons collected from around the world.

WHERE (detail) © Mandy Barker. Ingredients; marine debris balloons collected from around the world.

 

 



Design Food

Natural Materials Organized into Precise Geometric Shapes by Kristen Meyer

April 12, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Prop stylist and designer Kristen Meyer melds quotidian materials into distinctive outlines in her series of geometric flat lays. The designer, who is based in New Haven, Connecticut, gathers crackers, sticks, spaghetti, herbs, and other common raw materials and arranges them in circles and squares. The finesse comes in her use of negative space, creating implied borders lines that help complete the shape without a full density of “ingredients.” You can see more of Meyer’s work on Instagram. She also offers prints of her images on her website.

 

 



Art Craft

Stitched Sculptural Installations of Everyday Objects and Gestures by Amanda McCavour

March 30, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Toronto-based textile artist Amanda McCavour uses thread and a sewing machine to construct sculptural installations that dance between two and three dimensions. McCavour stitches on a special fabric that dissolves in water to create the surfaces of thread. Through renderings of objects like sofas, kitchen tables, and backpacks, as well as arms and hands engaged in work, she explores connections to home and the fibers of the body. In an artist statement McCavor states she is interested “in thread’s assumed vulnerability, its ability to unravel, and its strength when it is sewn together.”

McCavour holds an MFA from the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, and she exhibits widely. Currently, her Floating Garden installation is on display at the Cornell Art Museum in Florida as part of their Flora exhibition, which opens today, March 30th, and is on view through September 9, 2018. Flora also includes Tiffanie Turner (previously), and Miya Ando (previously). You can see more of McCavour’s work on her Facebook page and via Instagram.

 

 



Art

Oversized Crocheted Doilies by Ashley V Blalock Climb Up Trees and Gallery Walls

March 21, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Artist Ashley V Blalock crochets enormous red doilies that she then installs in site-specific configurations ranging from galleries to stairwells to trees outside. Her ongoing project, Keeping Up Appearances, began in 2011 and has been installed at museums, galleries, and gardens across the United States.

The artist describes the meaning behind Keeping Up Appearances: “Although non-threatening in a domestic setting, in the gallery and at this scale the [doilies] overtake the viewer and cover the walls… Inherent is a compulsion to arrange and place and decorate in order to control or influence a perceived outward appearance. The red color gives away the futility of such an act and hints at the unease that lurks below the surface of an obsessive need to control and arrange.”

Blalock is based in Southern California. She received a bachelor’s and two master’s degrees in sculpture and art history. You can see more of her installation work on her website.

 

 



Photography

The Acrobatic Entanglements of Everyday Objects by Mauricio Alejo

March 20, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Photographer Mauricio Alejo uses everyday objects to create gravity-defying arrangements within his apartment, staging curious interventions and acrobatic feats on his kitchen counters and filing cabinets. Working within the confines of his living space has allowed Alejo to produce ideas as they come, rather than attempt to find the perfect backdrop for his spontaneous compositions.

“I didn’t always like the apartments I was living in, or better put, I didn’t always like the way some of the places I lived translated into the image,” explained Alejo. “They were somehow random and uninteresting, but I knew that it was just natural to photograph right where the ideas were conceived, besides if I started looking for the ‘right’ place to shoot it was going to be a never ending story.”

This immediacy of ideas has become embedded in the photographer’s practice, even with Alejo’s recent move towards studio-based photography. You can see more of his works on his website and Instagram. (via Ignant)

 

 



Art

A Menagerie of Ceramic Beasts and Curiosities at Messums Wiltshire’s ‘Material Earth II’

February 14, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Caribou Antler and Bone Handled Forks by Ann Carrington, 210 x 127 x 20cm

In Material Earth II, a group show that just opened at Messums Wiltshire, artists explore how materials can be used to morph the meaning of traditional narratives—particularly in the context of Northern European myths and fairytales. In a statement on the show, Messums describes the exhibition as “an ode to all those that are magical, fantastical and ever-changing.” Artists include Livia Marin, Ann Carrington, Bouke de Vries, and Jessica Harrison. The works span a range of materials, with an emphasis on ceramics, which is unsurprising given both the fluid nature of the material and its historic prominence in narratives of everyday life. Material Earth is on view at Messums’ 13th century exhibition barn and adjoining modern space in southwest England until April 2, 2018.

Nomad Patterns (i) by Livia Marin, 2017, Ceramic, 38 x 21 x 10

Broken Things (i) by Livia Marin, 2018, Ceramic, 15 x 10.5 x 5cm

Royal Doulton Figurine ‘Elaine’ by Jessica Harrison, found ceramic, glaze, H19 x W18.5 x D13.5cm

The Polar Bear by Barnaby Barford, 2016, Porcelain, sculpted foam, steel frame, enameled wire, painted plywood, H245 x L85 x D135cm

Troll #8 by Marlene Hartman Rasmussen, 2017, H51 x W42 x D11cm

Sissure (ommateum) by Kate MccGwire, 2016, Mixed media with goose down and pigeon quills, H42 x H42 x D6cm (framed)

Still Life with Kinfisher, 2017 by Bouke de Vries, 17th century Chinese porcelain bowl, taxidermy, wax fruit and mixed media, H33 x W33 x D24cm

Forest Fruits – Bear by Claire Partington, Earthenware, Glaze, Enamel, Lustre & Mixed Media with two interchangeable heads, 2017, H62 x W39 x D20cm

 

 



Art

New Textural Sculptures Made With Swirls of Seashells by Rowan Mersh

February 13, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Pithváva Praegressus II 2017, H30 X W19 XD17cm, Dentalium Shells

Rowan Mersh (previously) creates textural artworks that toe the line between two and three dimensions, using carefully placed swirls of seashells. Each artwork is made up one only one kind of shell, which the artist uses in multiples as he explores the physical qualities and hidden beauties of the material. Mersh explains his process to Colossal:

On beginning a new project I first make a small sample to understand how best to work with the material, using elements of my chosen material such as size, shape and colour of the material to inform surface pattern. This gives me a guide as to how scale and shape the resulting project. My aim with every project is to expose the true and often hidden beauty of the material I am working with and I feel this is only possible by listening to the material from day one.

The seashells are sourced from sustainable shell farmers and harvesters around the world, and Mersh creates his sculptural pieces in London, where he lives and works. Mersh is represented by Gallery FUMI and currently has new work in the gallery’s winter group show, up until February 24th.

Asabikeshiinh IV, 2017, Sliced Turritella Shells, Fluorocarbon

Asabikeshiinh IV (detail), 2017, Sliced Turritella Shells, Fluorocarbon

Pithváva Praegressus I, 2017, H40 x W21 x D27.5cm, Dentalium Shells

Pithváva Praegressus I (detail), 2017, H40 x W21 x D27.5cm, Dentalium Shells

Asabikeshiinh V, 2017, H155 x W137 x D0.07cm, Sliced Doxander Vittatus Shells, Fluorocarbon

Asabikeshiinh V (detail) 2017, H155 x W137 x D0.07cm, Sliced Doxander Vittatus Shells, Fluorocarbon

Asabikeshiinh V, 2017, H155 x W137 x D0.07cm, Sliced Doxander Vittatus Shells, Fluorocarbon

Echinothrix Imaginem Sui, 2017. H125 x W80 x D27cm, Tiger Sea Urchin Spines 

Echinothrix Imaginem Sui (detail), 2017. H125 x W80 x D27cm, Tiger Sea Urchin Spines