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Art

Garment-Like Sculptures by Susie MacMurray Explore Perceptions of Female Identity

September 24, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Chain mail, needles, and dishwashing gloves: though not the materials you’d expect a dress to be made from, British artist Susie MacMurray uses them in her garment-inspired sculptures. MacMurray’s first piece in this body of work was Gladrags, made in 2002 from 10,000 pink balloons. Since then, the artist has produced several other seemingly wearable sculptures including Medusa (copper chain mail), Widow (leather and 100,000 dressmaker needles), and A Mixture of Frailties (1,400 household gloves).

“They have all been more concerned with the perception of women, their power and their vulnerabilities,” she explains to Colossal. “I am interested in how human strengths and frailties can often be one and the same thing. I suppose you could almost call them portraits… Much of my sculpture and drawing practice is concerned in one way or another with the perception and negotiation of female identity, both internal and external.”

MacMurray was formerly a classical musician, and she retrained as an artist, graduating in 2001 with an MA in Fine Art. In addition to her garment sculptures, MacMurray also creates drawings and architectural installations. You can see more of her work on her website and Twitter. (via #WomensArt)

 

 



Art

Community: Over 500,000 Preserved and Local Flowers Suspended in the Toledo Museum of Art

September 21, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Floral artist Rebecca Louise Law (previously) travels widely to install her beloved cascading flower showers around the world. Most recently, the UK-based artist worked with residents of Toledo, Ohio to install Community, her largest work to date. The exhibition incorporates over 500,000 flowers, installed with substantial help from local volunteers. Community is comprised of dried flowers preserved from previous exhibitions as well as over 150,000 locally sourced native plants. The exhibit is on view at the Toledo Art Museum through January 13, 2019. You can see a time-lapse of the installation in the video below, and explore more of Law’s work on Instagram and Facebook.

 

 



Art

Shuttlecocks, Pool Noodles, and Other Playful Materials Arranged into Three-Dimensional ‘Textiles’ by We Make Carpets

September 14, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Shuttlecock Carpet for the exhibition Hands On at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2017), all images via We Make Carpets

Shuttlecock Carpet for the exhibition Hands On at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2017), all images via We Make Carpets

Dutch art trio We Make Carpets (previously) formed their first temporary tapestry in 2009 from collected pine cones and needles, which they appropriated titled Forest Carpet. For almost a decade since, the collective has been working with ordinary materials to create visually seductive “carpets” arranged on the floor or presented vertically on the wall. Last year they were asked to create six new works and five interactive installations for a solo exhibition at the inaugural National Gallery of Victoria Triennial in Melbourne titled Hands On. Carpets were formed from child-friendly materials such as pool noodles and velcro, which invited visitors to create their own patterns from the provided objects.

“While making art we rely on a hands-on approach—working with the materials that you have in your hands—trying and failing until finally something beautiful emerges,” We Make Carpets said in a statement about the exhibition. “We believe the images in your head are more important than the things already known. It is fantasy that creates, not facts. We hope our arrangements of objects offer new perspectives on modern life.”

Hands On just concluded a second run on September 9 at the National Gallery Singapore. You can take a look inside the making of the exhibition in a video by NGV Melbourne in the video below, and see a more extensive collection of their temporary carpets on their website and Instagram.

Shuttlecock Carpet (detail) for the exhibition Hands On at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2017)

Shuttlecock Carpet (detail) for the exhibition Hands On at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2017)

Shuttlecock Carpet for the exhibition Hands On at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2017)

Shuttlecock Carpet for the exhibition Hands On at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2017)

Pencil Carpet for Jerusalem Design Week (2017)

Pencil Carpet for Jerusalem Design Week (2017)

Pencil Carpet (detail) for Jerusalem Design Week (2017)

Pencil Carpet (detail) for Jerusalem Design Week (2017)

Tube Carpet 2 made for the exhibition Hands On at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2017)

Tube Carpet 2 made for the exhibition Hands On at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2017)

Tube Carpet made for the exhibition Hands On at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2017)

Tube Carpet made for the exhibition Hands On at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2017)

Tube Carpet 2 (detail) made for the exhibition Hands On at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2017)

Tube Carpet 2 (detail) made for the exhibition Hands On at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2017)

Peg Carpet 2 made for the exhibition Hands On at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2017)

Peg Carpet 2 made for the exhibition Hands On at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2017)

Peg Carpet 2 (detail) made for the exhibition Hands On at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2017)

Peg Carpet 2 (detail) made for the exhibition Hands On at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2017)

Velcro Carpet made for the exhibition Hands On at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2017)

Velcro Carpet made for the exhibition Hands On at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2017)

Velcro Carpet (detail) made for the exhibition Hands On at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2017)

Velcro Carpet (detail) made for the exhibition Hands On at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2017)

Paperclip Carpet 2 (detail) made for the exhibition Bend and Stretch at Diagonale, Montreal, Canada (2016)

Paperclip Carpet 2 (detail) made for the exhibition Bend and Stretch at Diagonale, Montreal, Canada (2016)

Paperclip Carpet 2 made for the exhibition Bend and Stretch at Diagonale, Montreal, Canada (2016)

Paperclip Carpet 2 made for the exhibition Bend and Stretch at Diagonale, Montreal, Canada (2016)

 

 



Design Food Photography

Flat Lay Photographs Created From Found Household Materials by Kristen Meyer

August 23, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Connecticut-based designer Kristen Meyer (previously) creates flat lay photographs on pastel backgrounds with precisely arranged vegetables, crackers, and other organic materials like rocks and leaves. The works are geometrically minded, like a recent design which created an isometric grid from sliced melon and kiwi or sliced cheese rounds that were transformed into a field of interlocking circles on top of equally sized crackers. All of her arrangements are shot in her house where she keeps a studio, however she often travels to whichever room of the house as best light. On the way she picks up various materials for her photographs, pulling inspiration from found objects.

“As far as how I find materials to experiment with, it varies a lot,” she tells Colossal. “I generally work with what I can find around the house, inside or out. It begins as a scavenger hunt of sorts, and then a challenge as I begin to build.”

In the fall Meyer will begin a set decorating project with photographer Adrien Broom. You can follow her style arrangements on Instagram, and buy select prints of her photographs on her website.

        

 

 



Animation

Billions of Color Changing Particles Create Amorphous Waves in a New Art Film by Maxim Zhestkov 

August 14, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Volumes is a new 4K experimental art film by artist and director Maxim Zhestkov (previously) which explores the laws of nature through the interactions of billions of spherical particles. As the digitally produced elements collide they transform into a series of brilliant colors, morphing from black and grey orbs to pink, blue, and white balls and back again. The spheres combine to create sweeping waves that disperse and meld back together in large, amorphous forms. You can view more of the director’s projects on Vimeo, Instagram, and Behance.

 

 



Amazing Photography

A Mother Duck and Her Extraordinary Brood of 76 Ducklings Photographed in a Minnesota Lake

August 1, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

All images © Brent Cizek

Minnesota-based wildlife photographer Brent Cizek was headed back to shore before a summer storm when he spotted the common merganser he would later nickname “Momma Merganser.” At first the mother duck was being followed by a brood of more than 50 fluffy ducklings, however when spotted the group again, the total had grown to 76.

“I happened to find this group of mergansers purely by luck, but I was absolutely amazed by what I saw,” Cizek tells Colossal. “At the time I didn’t know anything about the species, so I wasn’t sure if what I witnessed was a common occurrence or something out of the ordinary. All I knew was that I had never seen anything like that before.”

The scene is extraordinary indeed. Although the aquatic birds are known to lay their eggs in the nests of other ducks, a female duck can only incubate 20 at any given time explains Kenn Kaufman, field editor for AudubonIt is most likely that several dozen of the ducklings lost their mothers and were adopted into Momma Merganser’s own brood.

Cizek plans to continue following the extra large family, and posts his findings to on Instagram. To learn more about merganser habits, read the National Audubon Society’s piece on the surprising spectacle. (via Laughing Squid)

 

 



History

Dig into an Incredible Compendium of Objects Excavated from the Bottom of Amsterdam’s Amstel River

July 9, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

During a nine year period in the early 2000’s a new metro line was excavated along the banks of Amsterdam’s Amstel river. The urban waterway had to be completely pumped, which gave archeologists a rare opportunity to examine the full spectrum of everyday and extraordinary objects which had fallen to the bottom of the prominent river. Below the Surface, a website created by the Department of Archaeology; Monuments and Archaeology (MenA), the City of Amsterdam; and their Chief Technology Officer, serves as an interactive compendium with access to images and information of 19,000 of the nearly 700,000 findings from the excavation site.

On the website you can explore the findings by date or dig into Below the Surface’s selection of object stories which provide context to specific pieces pulled from the river. An historical background is provided for select buttons, tokens, pottery segments, stamps, books, and other findings such as a 19th-century pipe cover decorated by a portrait of the Dutch navel lieutenant Jan Carel Josephus van Speijk or a 16th-century belt which bears the inscription: “Ik bin en ieger nu ik hebbe dat mi behaget” (or “I am a hunter and I now have what delights me”).

Meticulously divided display cases of the found objects are installed in the new metro line’s Rokin Station and can be visited by the public. A short documentary of the project can be found on Below the Surface’s website, with English subtitles coming soon. (via Kottke)