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Photography

A Lounging Humpback Whale and Her Newborn Garner Top Prize in International Photography Contest

June 17, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Essence of Life” by Jasmine Carey, of Australia. All images © HIPA and the photographers, shared with permission

Photographer Jasmine Carey, of Australia, captured a heartwarming moment between a mother humpback whale and her baby as they relax in the waters of the Kingdom of Tonga. Titled “Essence of Life,” the underwater shot recently won the top prize in the 2020 HIPA contest. “As we floated and watched them, the sound of the rhythm (of rain) faded just a little and the ocean calmed just enough for the tranquil pair to rise up, meeting the light rays just starting to break through the surface,” Carey said.

The international contest features dozens of winning entries from photographers around the world, all with a central focus. “Water may be the oldest and the perfect companion of humankind. Not only [are] our bodies predominantly made of water, but water is a necessity within our daily lives. From nature to nurture to science and discovery; water is central to our universe,” organizers said.

In its ninth year, the contest, which formally is named the Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award, granted winning photographers a total of $450,000. Explore the full collection of photographs on Instagram. (via PetaPixel)

 

“A Journey Outside Our World,” Apratim Pal, of India

“The Downpour” by François Bogaerts, of Belgium

“Snow Monalisa,” Fahad Al Enezi, of Kuwait

“Spirituality of Colors,” Abdullah Alshathri, of Saudi Arabia

“King of the North,” Talal Al Rabah, of Kuwait

“One Soul Opposite Direction,” Rashed Al Sumaiti, of the UAE

“The Secret of Life,” Yousef Shakar Al Zaabi, of the UAE

 

 



Art

Human Metamorphosis Embodied in Rosemary Holliday Hall’s Oxidized Chrysalises

May 27, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Rosemary Holliday Hall by Aron Gent, shared with permission

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.

 

 

 



Art Photography

Women in Motion Energize Dreamy Photographs by Kylli Sparre

May 22, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Wonder Wheels.” All images © Kylli Sparre, shared with permission

Often blurring or concealing the faces of her dramatically posed figures, Kylli Sparre (previously) captures magical portraits of young women and girls. The fine art photographer, who is based in Tallinn, captures her lone subjects amidst swirling swaths of fabric or perched atop a towering mass of bicycle wheels. Many are in motion, whether dancing against hazy landscapes and or scooting across calm waters.

Sparre tells Colossal that she’s begun to experiment with technical aspects of her process by using a scanner, piecing together images in collages, and experimenting with movement and exposure time. Although she notes that many of her forays into underwater photography “will never see the light of day,” she’s “trying to be as open as I can… I think what has demanded me to grow, is the wish to keep finding the “something” in an image, that would touch a chord in me. Because what I find interesting, slightly changes over time. It is not always an easy task to be truthful to this inner scale, but still essential.”

To see more of Sparre’s conceptual projects focused on the female figure, head to Instagram.

 

“Disquiet”

“Learning Wheels”

“Modest Troubles”

“Mismeeting”

“Wild Things in Mild Wind”

“Line in Time”

“Excusing Shadows”

 

 



Art Craft

Precise Angular Stitches Encase Found Twigs in Natalie Ciccoricco’s New Embroideries

May 21, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Natalie Ciccoricco

Stitching lengthy, varicolored rows around found twigs, Natalie Ciccoricco juxtaposes the organic forms of nature with her meticulous embroideries. The California-based artist has been crafting her Nesting series on white, handmade paper with unfinished edges. The stark backdrop complements the precisely laid thread that seems to suspend each twig, while the natural borders offer an additional organic element.

An extension of her stitches on vintage photographs, Ciccoricco’s lastest series was born out of her time quarantined at home. “While being under quarantine at home, I started creating embroidery artworks using materials found in our yard, on our deck or nature walks,” she writes on her site. “Exploring the juxtaposition between geometric shapes and organic elements, this series is an ongoing exercise to find beauty and hope in challenging times.”

Although each piece from Nesting is sold out in her shop, some prints of her other embroideries are available on Society6. Follow Ciccoricco’s progress and see her latest works on Instagram. (via Jealous Curator)

 

 

 



Art

Living Chia Germinates from Clothing Abandoned on a Wash Line by Artist Bea Fremderman

May 14, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Bea Fremderman

Concerned with the ongoing climate crisis, Queens-based artist Bea Fremderman imagines an apocalyptic world of the not-so-distant future. Her living sculptures of everyday objects and clothing appear to have been abandoned suddenly, allowing nature to take over as quickly as humans left. “I think of them as relics of the future,” she told Cultured in 2019. “With my work, it’s not doomsday. It’s about starting over, dealing with what we have, and trying to make anew with what we know.”

Fremderman plants chia seeds among pant legs, hoodies, and a lone sock that crawl over the apparel and envelop it in a thick carpet. The roving sprouts transform the items and helps question human consumption. “At the core of my work is this issue of new nature— what things are left behind, what will outlive us, how we’ve changed the landscape,” she said. “We used to create things out of rock that would break down, and turn into sand, which comes together and becomes rock again, but now we have things that don’t break down.”

Find more of Fremderman’s germinating sculptures on her site.

 

 

 



Craft

A Hypochondriac’s Obsession is Amplified in Mesmerizing Anatomical Mandalas Cut From Paper

May 5, 2020

Vanessa Ruiz

All images © Makerie Studio

For a hypochondriac, any sense of pain or discomfort can be a point of fixation, something specifically known as somatic symptom disorder. This type of obsession inspired paper artist Julie Wilkinson to create a project that would not only distract her from this consuming condition but also bring awareness to an often misunderstood disorder. Her project is aptly titled Manifestation.

Wilkinson told Fubiz that she’s “been hypochondriac for as long as I can remember, and I have always had a fascination with medicine and the psychology related to certain conditions. This project was a way of visualizing the endless cycle that hypochondriacs often find themselves in, where every feeling is magnified, amplified, and where one little ache can turn into multiple symptoms—real or imagined—which take up our thoughts entirely.”

These layered illustrations of anatomical parts in a mandala motif were cut by Wilkinson with none other than a scalpel. The result is a visual expression of somatic symptom disorder—a dizzying array of magnified and multiplied sensations across various interconnected body parts and systems. The mandala is befitting of the meditative and healing nature of the project.

Wilkinson and Joyanne Horscroft make up the transatlantic creative duo behind Makerie Studio. While Wilkinson lives in New York, Horscroft is based in London. Not only are they master paper artists but they’re also set designers, who create imaginative and exquisitely detailed paper sculptures for window displays, events, advertising, and special artistic commissions. They’ve gained the attention of Google, Gucci, Nike, and Victoria’s Secret, to name a few. Wilkinson and Horscroft have developed their own unique paper techniques and are inspired by nature, steampunk mechanicals, and whimsical worlds.

Follow Makerie Studio’s magnificent paper creations and installations on Instagram.

 

 



Art

Stones, Leaves, and Shells Whorl in Hypnotic Land Art by Jon Foreman

April 26, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Whirling Colour” (2019), Freshwater West, Pembrokeshire. All images © Jon Foreman

Jon Foreman arranges his seashell coils and stone gradients knowing that they’ll be washed away by the tide or kicked over by passersby. The artist’s ephemeral land art is hypnotic and entrancing in its precision, arranged in perfectly concentric circles and exacting compositions depressed in the sand. His large-scale pieces transform blank beaches and forest expanses into artworks that evidence both environmental diversity and continuity.

Based in Wales, the artist began creating his nature-based work while in college. Since then, his land art has ranged from minimal stone sculptures to sweeping sand mandalas, and each project has its own entrancing motif. “Repeat processes are always very therapeutic and this is a good example of that, getting lost in the process is an important part of land art,” Foreman recently wrote on Instagram.

If you don’t have the opportunity to see one of the artist’s highly composed pieces in person, pick up a print from his shop. (via Juxtapoz)

“II Ad Unum” (2019), Freshwater West, Pembrokeshire

“Confluere” (2018), Art of Balance Exhibition, Summerhall, Edinburgh

Left: Freshwater West, Pembrokeshire. Right: “Nether” (2019), Freshwater West, Pembrokeshire