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Art

Garments of Grass and Flowers by Jeanne Simmons Fuse Bodies to the Landscape

May 18, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Grass Cocoon” (2018). All images © Jeanne Simmons, shared with permission

“When we spend a lot of time in a place, and if we are paying attention, a kind of intimacy develops,” says Jeanne Simmons. The artist, who’s based in the Pacific Northwest, grounds her practice in this sense of familiarity and ease with her surroundings. “We come to know the plants that grow there and the critters that roam there… We may even begin to feel that we ourselves have become part of that place, and it is this feeling that sustains and inspires me.”

After gathering natural materials like branches, wild vegetables, and bark, Simmons constructs garments that intertwine her own body and those of others with the landscape and obscure the distinction between the two. In one work, a full skirt made of Queen Anne’s Lace trails from the artist’s waist and blends with a meadow, while another piece braids dried vegetation into a model’s blond hair, developing a feet-long braid that appears to emerge from the ground. “Grass Cocoon” is similar, twisting locks into the material and swaddling a figure’s body in a sheath of green. “This is how I celebrate and deepen my connection with the natural world. I suppose I have discovered that the best way for me to become part of the landscape… is to wear it,” she shares. “It is also, at least in part, a lamentation for the catastrophic loss of that connection that we are witnessing in real-time.”

Simmons has several works in progress at the moment, including a kelp shroud and fennel gown, and is collaborating with director and producer Ward Serrill on a film about her practice. Keep up with those projects on her site and Instagram. (via Lustik)

 

“Grass Cocoon” (2018)

“Extensions” (2020)

“Lace Skirt” (2019)

 

 



Art

Monumental Installations by Henrique Oliveira Explore the Eerie Nature of Architecture

April 27, 2022

Kate Mothes

“Desnatureza” (2011). All images courtesy of the artist and shared with permission

Erupting from floors, doorways, and furniture, artist Henrique Oliveira’s artworks (previously) are a remarkable comment on the relationship between the built environment and the power of nature. In installations that explore the relationship between reality and otherworldly spectacle, enormous wooden limbs and vine-like forms emerge from walls and ceilings that have been cracked, broken, and twisted around the emerging growth, unable to contain it.

Oliveira uses various readymade and organic materials such as bricks, wood, PVC, tree branches, mud, and other found items. He has incorporated tapumes, a Portuguese term for “enclosure” or “boarding,” which is typical of the plywood fencing installed around his home city of São Paulo that becomes weathered and varied in color and texture.

Pieces range in size from a few feet, such as furniture works like “Chest of Drawers,” to immense installations that sprawl across expansive exhibition spaces. Some of his largest works, such as “Transarquitetonica,” have been experienced by walking around the exterior or venturing inside. In this piece, the opening of a tunnel mimics the contemporary architecture of the Museu de Arte Contemporânea building in São Paulo. It then gradually transforms into a series of woody paths, giving the impression of exploring different routes inside a giant tree’s tangled limbs.

Many of Oliveira’s works are permanently on view around the world, and you can find more information on his website and on Instagram.

 

“Dead Fire,” (2012)

“Chest of Drawers” (2013)

“Transarquitetonica” (2014). Image by Everton Ballardin

Interior of “Transarquitetonica” (2014). Image by Everton Ballardin

“Corner Prolapse” (2009)

“Sisyphus Casemate” (2018)

“Xilonoma Chamusquius 2” (2012). Image by Everton Ballardin

Foreground: “Desnatureza 2” (2014). Image by Nash Baker

“Xilonoma Chamusquius 3” (2012)

“Baitogogo” (2013). Image by André Morin

 

 



Photography

Foliage and Moss Renew Abandoned Sites Around the Globe with Verdant Signs of Life

April 21, 2022

Grace Ebert

A train repair workshop in Hungary. All images © Jonk, shared with permission

Spanning an open-air Taiwanese warehouse to a Cuban theater teeming with vibrant leaves, the sites that Jonathan Jimenez visits are relics of the industries and cultural institutions of the past. The French photographer, who works as Jonk (previously), has cultivated a practice centered on documenting abandoned structures around the globe, many of which have been cloaked in mosses, lush foliage, and even jungle-like vegetation.

In his most recent collection, Jonk visits 35 locations in 25 countries and captures the crumbling roofs, peeling facades, and rusted trains in their midst. He compiles the series in his seventh book titled Urbex Monde, which pairs the largely architectural photos with notes, histories of the sites, and anecdotes from his encounters in a consideration of nature’s enduring ability to reclaim what humans have left behind.

The new volume is available from Arthaud—note that the text is written in French—and you can follow Jonk’s future travels on Instagram.

 

A theater in Abkhazia

A house in Montserrat

A car graveyard in Sweden

A theater in Cuba

A warehouse in Taiwan

An asylum in Italy

A car graveyard in Sweden

A house in Namibia

 

 



Art

Densely Arranged Stone Gradients Sweep Across the Sand in Jon Foreman's Extraordinary Land Art

April 15, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Jon Foreman, shared with permission

An expert in the hypnotic, Wales-based artist Jon Foreman continues his exquisite constructions that position stones and shells into perfectly arranged formations. His most recent pieces include a mesmerizing gradient circle, concentric swirl, and seaside surge that show an evolution from his earlier land art by adding even more density and precision to his already meticulous practice. Because he works in public spaces subject to the elements, Foreman’s compositions last only a short period, although he sells prints in his shop for those wanting to preserve their entrancing nature. You can follow his latest creations and travels on Instagram.

 

 

 



Craft Design

Sculptural Candles by Greentree Shape Dyed Beeswax into Organic Designs

April 12, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Greentree

From its Catskills studio, Greentree creates sculptural candles in hues from sage and celadon to terra cotta and lilac. The company, helmed by artist Jennifer Green, hand-pours and finishes collections of feathery partridges, pinecones, clean-cut gemstones, and sets of vintage bottles that are equally design objects as they are functional goods. Each unscented candle is made of pure beeswax, meaning it burns cleanly and emits a naturally sweet smell as melts. In addition to the whimsical creations shown here, Greentree also sells angular pillars, tapers with spiraling edges, and other elegant designs in its shop. (via INHABITAT)

 

 

 



Design

Piece Together Nature's Tiny Wonders with Miniature Jigsaw Puzzles from Nervous System

April 6, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Nervous System, shared with permission

The innovative team over at the Catskills-based studio Nervous System (previously) released a new line of miniature jigsaws that match organic shapes with similarly natural subject matter. All spanning less than eight inches, a spotted mushroom, mottled moth, fern, succulent, and blooming begonia comprise the collection that’s a small but challenging display of the planet’s tiny wonders. Each puzzle is encased in a plywood frame and has approximately 40-45 pieces with one whimsy cut in the shape of the larger form. Nervous System plans to add to the series in the coming months, and you can shop the puzzles shown here on its site.