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Art Science

An Enormous ‘E.coli’ Floats Through the National Museum of Scotland at 5 Million Times Its Actual Size

August 10, 2022

Kate Mothes

“E.coli”. All images © Luke Jerram. Photo by Neil Hanna, courtesy of the artist and National Museum of Scotland

In the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, an enormous single-cell organism floats among the Victorian iron colonnades of the cavernous Grand Gallery. Bristol-based multidisciplinary artist Luke Jerram often explores the nature of scale and perception in his pieces (previously), and the latest installation of his inflatable sculpture “E.coli,” which has been displayed in locations around the U.K., spans 90 feet, representing the bacterium at 5 million times its actual size. (If humans were to scale up just as enormously, they would be about 5.5 miles tall!)

Escherichia coli (known as E.coli) is a group of mostly beneficial bacteria that live in the intestines of animals and humans. Some types can occasionally cause severe illness, usually transmitted on food. Jerram’s sculpture prompts visitors to re-examine their relationship with “germs,” elevating and celebrating the importance of bacteria for both health and science.

“E.coli” is on view as part of Edinburgh Art Festival through August 31. You can find more of Jerram’s work on his website.

 

Photo by Luke Jerram

Photo by Luke Jerram

Photo by Neil Hanna

 

 



Art Craft

Amorphous Ceramic Vessels by Julie Bergeron Merge the Shapes and Textures of Organic Matter

August 8, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images by Alain Delorme, © Julie Bergeron, shared with permission

From her studio in Paris, artist Julie Bergeron hand-builds amorphous stoneware vessels that mimic a wide array of creatures and lifeforms found in nature. Hollow ducts and pointed spines cover the surfaces of the cavernous forms, ambiguously evoking seed pods, tropical fruits like rambutan or durian, and small marine organisms. “I have fun mixing types, blurring the tracks… Are we in the vegetal, animal, microscopic, or human world? The borders become undefined,” she tells Colossal.

Inspired by the biological illustrations of Ernst Haeckel, Bergeron uses a coiling technique to shape the initial bodies before engraving or covering the forms in repeating patterns. She leaves the works unglazed so that the minerality and organic textures of the clay remain intact, the final steps of a process she explains in further detail:

When I start my pieces, I don’t have a specific idea. Gradually the sculpture takes shape, and I let myself be guided by its curves and its irregularities. The name of the piece comes to me when it is finished depending on what it evokes to me or the emotion felt. Often the sculptures seem alive to me.

The Quebec-born artist has a few pieces available from Suzan in Paris, and her Instagram features a trove of vessels and glimpses into her process.

 

 

 

 

 



Illustration

Digital Collages by Beto Val Splice Vintage Illustrations into Surreal Hybrid Creatures

July 28, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Beto Val, shared with permission

Ecuadorian artist Beto Val alchemizes vintage illustrations into bizarre compositions that blend fruits with fowl and aquatic life with land animals. Using imagery available through the public domain, Val cuts and repositions fins, wings, and scaly talons into surreal creatures: round owl faces peer out from pineapples, autumn leaves sprout from tropical birds, and a rendering evocative of a biological chart displays fish with bodies made of strawberries, brains, and an early, industrial locomotive. Blending the analog illustrations with the artist’s digital manipulations, the collages encompass a range of characters from the whimsical to the absurd.

Val offers prints and other goods in his shop, and his book, The Great Book of the Imaginary Animal Kingdom, is available from Bookshop. You can follow the strange hybrids he dreams up next on Instagram.

 

 

 



Illustration

Enchanting Vignettes Illustrated by Melpomeni Chatzipanagiotou Nestle Inside Small Wood Cuts

July 27, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Melpomeni Chatzipanagiotou, shared with permission

Encircled in roughly textured bark, thin woodcuts become canvases for the whimsical landscapes and scenes illustrated by Melpomeni Chatzipanagiotou. The Greek artist uses a combination of pen, ink, gouache, and acrylic paint to draw outdoor vignettes cloaked in pattern and cosmic details. Nighttime skies are brimming with snowflakes, stars, and light trails that illuminate the natural subject matter and add a dose of fantasy to the heavily patterned works.

Chatzipanagiotou has a number of illustrations on wood and paper available on Etsy, and you can watch her at work on Instagram. Her third coloring book, Enchanting Earth, is slated for release in February, and the previous two, Circle of Life and Nature Mandalas, are currently available on Bookshop.

 

 

 

 



Art Illustration

Jurassic Nature: Botanical Assemblages by Raku Inoue Recreate Dinosaurs in Leafy Layers

July 11, 2022

Grace Ebert

Dilophosaurus. All images © Raku Inoue, shared with permission

In his ongoing Jurassic Nature series, Japanese artist Raku Inoue layers sprigs of kiwi vines, white spruce, and boxelder maple into miniature sculptural dinosaurs. The ribbed, veiny textures of the leaves mimic the reptilian skin of some of the most recognizable characters from the 1993 classic. Minimal in form and lush in construction, the creatures include a dandelion-headed brontosaurus, a stegosaurus with spiky raspberry leaves defining its back, and a velociraptor laced with forget-me-nots.

Inoue is adding a few more dinosaurs to the series, so keep an eye on his Instagram for updates. You can also find prints of a variety of his botanical creatures in his shop. (via Lustik)

 

“Triceratops”

Stegosaurus

Velociraptor

T-Rex

Brontosaurus

Stegosaurus

 

 



Photography Science

Brilliant Phenomena and Galactic Skies Light Up the 2022 Astronomy Photographer of the Year Shortlist

July 6, 2022

Grace Ebert

An Icelandic Saga by Carl Gallagher

Whether in the form of nebulae or starry galactic expanses, natural light continues to dominate Royal Museums Greenwich’s Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition (previously). The 14th annual contest garnered more than 3,000 submissions from 67 countries, and a shortlist of finalists contains stunning shots of a September harvest moon illuminating Glastonbury Tor, the brilliant streaks trailing Comet Leonard, and the vibrant Aurora Borealis casting an ominous glow above a battered ship in Westfjords.

Winning photos will be announced on September 15 with an exhibition opening at the National Maritime Museum on September 17. Until then, peruse the full collection on the Royal Museum Greenwich site.

 

Oregon coast by Marcin Zając

Comet C/2021 A1 (Leonard) by Lionel Majzik

Equinox Moon and Glastonbury Tor by Hannah Rochford

Solar Wind Power by Esa Pekka Isomursu

Clouds of Hydrogen Gas by Simon Tang

Rosette Nebula Core Region (NGC2244) by Alpha Zhang

Badwater Milky Way by Abhijit Patil