pillows

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Art

Polished Feet and Ears Emerge from Rugged Hunks of Marble in Dorothy Cross's Sculptures

March 1, 2022

Grace Ebert

Detail of “Blue Dive” (2021), sodalite, 70 x 30 x 30 centimeters. Photo by Stephen White & Co., courtesy of the artist and Frith Street Gallery. All images shared with permission

In Dorothy Cross’s “Blue Dive,” a pair of feet with curled, spread toes breach a rugged fragment of vibrant stone streaked with white veins. The sculpture casts the Connemara-based Cork-born artist’s own extremities into a block of rare Brazilian sodalite, a nod to the fleeting nature of human time in comparison to the longevity and enduring qualities of Earth’s resources.

The rich, stone carving is just one anatomical piece in Cross’s solo exhibition titled Damascus Rose, which is open through April 14 at London’s Frith Street Gallery. From a sleek, tiled walkway to a pillow bearing a single ear, many of the sculptures on view are chiseled into the red-hued titular stone and were born out of the artist’s experience in Carrara, Italy, a region known for its marble.

Like her broader oeuvre, these new pieces consider the body’s relationship to time. Cross’s chronology is lengthy, spanning from the biblical stories of St. Paul to the current crises in Syria that confront “the horror of human evacuation and the thwarted attempts by thousands forced to migrate across oceans to supposedly safer lands,” a statement says. Other works like the uncanny “Red Baby” are more personal and are modeled after the artist’s childhood pillow, portraying an ear protruding from the center where an impression might otherwise be.

 

“Red Baby” (2021), Damascus Rose, 40 x 40 x 10 centimeters. Photo by Stephen White & Co., courtesy of the artist and Frith Street Gallery

Earlier projects fall under similar themes of change and subsequent loss, including a 2019 sculpture in which a small shark emerges from a white marble flooring. The sprawling piece links the marine animal’s 400-million year lineage to the more recent development of the stone and addresses the threat of over-fishing and finning to the current population.

Because of its size, “Red Erratic,” the imposing block topped with multiple pairs of overlapping feet, is unable to be displayed in Frith Street Gallery and instead will be on view during the next year at Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens in Cornwall. Cross’s site includes a vast archive of her works across mediums, and it’s worth taking a look at her Instagram to view the carving process.

 

“ROOM” (2019), Carrara marble. Image courtesy of Kerlin Gallery

“Red Erratic” at Studio Carlo Nicoli, Carrara, Italy. Photo courtesy of the artist and Frith Street Gallery

“Red Road” (2021). Photos courtesy of the artist and Frith Street Gallery

“Red Road” (2021). Photo by Ben Westoby, courtesy of Frith Street Gallery

“Listen Listen” (2019), Greek marble. Image courtesy of Kerlin Gallery

 

 



Art

Realistic Pillows Sculpted from Blocks of White Marble by Håkon Anton Fagerås

January 11, 2020

Andrew LaSane

In studios in Oslo and northern Italy, Norwegian sculptor Håkon Anton Fagerås uses a pneumatic hammer and other carving tools to shape blocks of marble into large white pillows. Slumped in natural poses, the realistic pillows feature smooth folds and wrinkles that contradict the properties of the medium. Without the shots of Fagerås in action, our eyes would not believe the finished products to be anything other than fabric and filler.

In an interview with Sculpture Atelier, Fagerås explained his interest in the medium, saying marble is best for expressing the nuances of emotion. “Because of the material qualities of marble itself, it appears fragile. It’s quite fragile, but it’s not that fragile, and yet it appears so because of the translucency and pureness of the stone.” He added that it allows for sculpting at a very precise level, but that he tries “not to be too literal about it. I think that my main focus is to create an atmosphere, a sensation, more than a literal representation of something that expresses, for instance, fragility.”

Head to Instagram to see more of Fagerås’s marble masterpieces.

 

 



Art

New Embroideries of People Slumbering on Handmade Pillows by Maryam Ashkanian

January 30, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Iranian artist Maryam Ashkanian (previously) embroiders portraits of peaceful sleepers deeply resting as a part of her ongoing Sleep series. Each individual she creates begins with a gestural line drawing that is then embroidered onto a handmade pillow. Little hints of the sleeper’s personality are presented by the way the pillow is designed—from a flowered watch on one’s wrist, to a ruffle that encircles that pillow’s outer edge. You can see more of Ashkanian’s textile work on her website and Instagram.

 

 



Art

Slumped Plexiglass Pillows by Colin Roberts Refract Light like Dazzling Disco Balls

November 19, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Los Angeles-based artist Colin Roberts began creating pillows out of perspex, or plexiglass, in 2008. The solid imitations of typically plush objects are shaped to be dented and slumped which presents the illusion of softness despite their stiff composition. “I was inspired to use the pillow shape because it’s an object that is so common, yet as humans, we all have a special relationship to, without realizing it,” Roberts explains to Colossal. “A pillow is something every human can recognize and long for when needing rest. It represents comfort, rest, and sleep for our mind, body, and soul.”

The patchwork sculptures are often multi-colored and refract light like a mirrored disco ball. The artist’s work is currently being exhibited in the group exhibition Divided Brain at LAVA Projects in Los Angeles through December 16, 2018. You can see more of Roberts’s plexiglass sculptures on his website and Instagram. (via The Jealous Curator)

 

 



Art

Sleeping People Embroidered Onto Handmade Pillows by Maryam Ashkanian

April 30, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Iranian artist Maryam Ashkanian embroiders individuals deep in sleep onto the surface of her handmade pillows, matching the size of her subjects to the area one would physically occupy if they took a nap on her work. The stitched sleepers lay sprawled in different configurations on the white background, some with their arms outstretched, whiles others hold them tucked into their bodies. These sculptures are a way to access the wide subject matter of dreams, a place where Ashkanian feels we can observe ourselves in one of the purest forms. You can see more of her sculptures on her Instagram and Twitter. (via Ignant)