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Art Craft

Multi-Layered Ceramics by Artist Heesoo Lee Express the Movements of Land and Sea

July 9, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Heesoo Lee, shared with permission

Heesoo Lee has spent years carefully layering blades of grass, pine trees, and cherry blossoms to construct botanic entanglements that crawl across ceramic mugs and bowls. Inspired by seasonal woodlands and aspen forests, the Montana-based artist recreates bright pockets of landscapes that capture small motions, like falling fronds or rustling branches. “There is movement in trees, but it is slow and subtle, a leaf in wind, the slow growth of new leaves in spring,” she says.

While Lee has continued this tradition with many of her recent pieces, she’s expanded her source material to the ocean. For seven years, the artist lived in Maui, where she often surveyed the water. “I could sit on a beach all day and watch the waves, observe them, and feel calmed by them but also respectful of their energy and force,” she says. The memory has inspired a textured piece that swells upward to form a cavernous bowl. “Even in a small object, the waves are powerful and convey so much. For me, the waves connote freedom, the freedom to express myself and take risks,” the artist writes.

Diverging from land posed new challenges in Lee’s process. For landscapes, the artist repeats elements in layers to create a fully formed piece, but the same technique didn’t translate to water. “The first time I tried to make waves I failed. I failed over and over and over after that. There were cracks, pieces broke off,” she says. “I realized the feeling of making a wave is so much different from making a landscape.” Instead, Lee retrained her hands to follow the movement of the water, using slip casting, carving, and a series of manual techniques to capture its energy and force. Her color palette changed from amalgamations that evoked seasons to a precise set of blues.

Despite her forays into aquatic forms, Lee maintains an affinity for grassy fields and windswept boughs, which she explains:

My seasonal work, landscapes that focus on all four seasons, are still a mainstay of my practice. The memories that fuel the images are so powerful for me, and it gives me great pleasure to share my interpretation of those memories with people… I have heard from people that drinking from a cup I made helped them channel their own memories of the outdoors and the seasons, even during a time when they are stuck inside.

To purchase one of the artist’s organic works, follow her on Instagram, where she often shares shop updates, in addition to early looks into her process.

 

 

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Photography

Aerial Photographs of Vast Ocean Landscapes by Tobias Hägg Observe Earth’s Propensity for Change

February 27, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Tobias Hägg, shared with permission

Photographing the jewel-toned waters jutting up against beaches and the salt-speckled lagoons, Tobias Hägg frames some of Earth’s most striking landscapes. Based in Stockholm, he captures nature’s movement and the inevitability of change within environments, offering a broader look by shooting from above. Hägg often features ocean waters as they ripple, slosh, and crash into the land, although he also documents trees as they transform at the beginning of autumn, showing a thick forest full of orange hues. “I find pleasure in the most simple scenes. In a way, I think it defines me,” the photographer wrote on Instagram. To see more of Hägg’s stunning aerial shots or to add one to your collection, head to his site.

 

 



Photography

Historic Geometric Pools Interrupt Australia’s Rocky Coastline in Aerial Shots by Nicole Larkin

January 24, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Nicole Larkin, shared with permission

For years, Nicole Larkin has been capturing the ocean pools along the coasts of New South Wales in a project titled The Wild Edge. Mostly constructed as public works endeavors more than 80 years ago, the geometric spaces often are nestled in Australia’s rocky shorelines, surrounded by crashing waves and filled with jewel-toned waters. In a statement about the project, Larkin described the swimming sanctuaries as offering visitors “intimate encounters with the landscape.”

They are largely opportunistic interventions that exploit the natural topography of the rock platform to make a protected and convenient swimming area. They often exhibit the “bare minimum,” dematerializing into the rock platform yet providing amenity and facilitating easy access to the ocean.

The Sydney-based architect, artist, and designer tells Colossal that she’s concerned with how the ocean landscapes are being altered by climate change. Larkin says designing additional pools could be used “to facilitate community amenity and access to the ocean, but also to act as protective structures which buffer against storms,” as the area deals with the global crisis.

For a geographical look at coast-side retreats, check out Larkin’s interactive collaboration with Guardian Australia. More aerial shots of the 60 remaining ocean oases are on the artist’s Instagram and Behance. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

 



Photography Science

‘Sea-Thru’ Allows Scientists to Accurately Recalibrate the True Colors of Sea Life

November 21, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Two researchers at the University of Haifa have developed Sea-Thru, an algorithmic method for color-correcting underwater images. The tool allows scientists—and laypeople—to understand and contextualize the “true” colors of aquatic phenomena like fish, coral, and anemones. Sea-Thru was developed by Derya Akkaynak and Tali Treibitz and is a more accurate re-reading of colors, rather than editing tones artificially in Photoshop.

In the paper’s abstract, the duo explain that the way colors come through underwater is not uniform (which is why the aforementioned Photoshop doctoring isn’t accurate). Rather, the distance from the lens and the reflectivity of the captured object determines how its colors appear. So, the way sand appears is differently modulated by the water than, say the scales on a fish passing above the sand. Sea-Thru uses an algorithm to accurately and efficiently adjust images taken underwater.

See the algorithm in action in the video below from Scientific American, and read Akkaynak and Treibitz’s full paper here. (via PetaPixel)

 

 

 

 



Photography

Powerful Portraits of Enormous Ocean Waves by Luke Shadbolt

October 30, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Maelstrom 9” (2016)

Luke Shadbolt captures the roiling majesty of ocean waves in his large-scale aquatic photographs. Printed at 150 x 100 cm (nearly 6 feet by 3.3 feet), the color and black-and-white images show the dramatic shapes and dynamic textures of open water when agitated by major weather events.

In a statement on the artist’s website, the Maelstrom series is described as “a cursory glimpse of the exchange, cycle and balance of power fundamental to the functioning of our planet and its oceans… Maelstrom encourages the viewer to reflect upon our own naivety and place as a species within the greater natural balance of power.”

The Acquiesce the Front series similarly seeks to draw connections between the human experience and our natural environment. “The physical manifestations portrayed are a deft reflection of those storms that are implicit to the human condition,” and our individual frailty in the face of big events. Yet Shadbolt finds hope in the potential “to learn and grow from these events. While we may be powerless to stop the storm from approaching, we can work to redirect the flood.”

Shadbolt is represented by Michael Reid Gallery in Sydney and Berlin. The Sydney-based photographer and creative director tells Colossal that he is currently in the process of opening a studio in New York City. You can explore more of his dramatic photographs on Instagram and Facebook.

“Acquiesce 5” (2017)

“Acquiesce 2” (2017)

“Maelstrom 1” (2016)

“Maelstrom 3” (2016)

“Maelstrom 5” (2016)

“North Avoca 1” (2016)

“Maelstrom 4” (2016)

“Maelstrom 8” (2016)

 

 



Photography

Moody Views of Hawaii’s Rugged Beaches by Photographer Jason Wright

August 1, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Glory” all photographs © Jason Wright, shared with permission

Dramatic views of Hawaii’s landscape by Jason Wright depart from typical depictions of the high profile islands. Rather than showing sandy beaches and palm trees, Wright’s images highlight the fierce and rugged places where land meets sea. Wright, who grew up in Hawaii, shares with Colossal that his experience as a life-long surfer informs his perspective as a photographer.

Being exposed to the power and ever changing conditions that affect our state—this power of the ocean thrills and terrifies me and keeps me coming back. Once you step foot on land’s edge, with no lifeguards or crowds, you know your place and who is in control. I love that I am drawn to a mix of excitement and fear that this experience can bring.

Wright explains that he creates his unique images by hiking in to scout locations, determining the positioning of the sun or moon and the water’s swell in his composition, and shooting in extremely low light, under a full moon or at sundown. Waiting for the right moment can sometimes take months.

Explore more of Hawaii’s moody landscapes through Wright’s lens on Instagram, and contact him via his website for framed prints of his photographs.

“Ebb & Flow”

“Awakening”

“Nocturnal Dream”

“The Mountain”

“Dream Sweeper”

“Blue Dream”

 

 



Art Craft

Macro Views of British Beaches Become Abstract Textural Embroideries by Emily Botelho

June 21, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Although she doesn’t live right by the ocean, artist Emily Botelho channels her passion for marine landscapes with frequent trips to explore where soil and sea meet. On these trips, she photographs the colors and textures that appear on the rocky waterfront: lichen, seaweed, and small sea creatures all create unique visual patterns. The Manchester, U.K.-based artist then prints her photographs on cotton fabric and embellishes them with long straight stitches, tight beadwork, sea shells, semi-precious stones, and three-dimensional tufts.

Botelho, who creates work under the name Salt Stitches, formerly had a career in the fashion industry, and only took up embroidery about a year ago. In that time she has built a substantial following sharing and selling her hoop-based works on Instagram and Etsy. Botelho is also participating in an online auction with fiber art curator The Fiber Studio, which launches on June 28, 2019.

 

 

 

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Sailing Ship Kite