plants

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Photography Science

An Elegant Timelapse Captures an Oak from Acorn to Tree in 196 Days

July 18, 2022

Christopher Jobson

In this brief timelapse, a single acorn germinates from seed to sapling during a period of 196 days, transferred carefully from vessel to vessel as it sprouts. The simple yet wondrous clip is just one of many plant-growing timelapses produced by the Youtube channel Boxlapse (also on Instagram) where you’ll find a new release almost every weekday. The videos include all manner of plants and fungi captured in interesting ways, including the growth of a mango tree during a yearlong period or the first 113 days of a dragon fruit cactus, seen below.

 

 

 



Art

Vibrant Botanicals Spring from Cheerful Pups in Hiroki Takeda’s Playful Watercolors

July 7, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Hiroki Takeda, shared with permission

Sprouting flowers and botanical sprigs, the subjects of Hiroki Takeda’s watercolor works exude the boundless joy and energy we tend to associate with canine companionship. The vividly rendered pieces are part of the Japanese artist’s whimsical body of work that defines the contours of cats, birds, and inanimate objects with delicate plants and other natural elements. Prints and originals of Takeda’s blooming creatures are available from TRiCERA Art, and you can stay up to date with his latest pieces on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Massive Leafy Murals by Adele Renault Magnify the Verdant Textures of Plants

June 15, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Adele Renault, shared with permission

Similar to her abstract masses of feathers, a new series of murals by artist Adele Renault highlights the vibrant colors and textures abundant in nature. Plantasia, which consists of smaller works on canvas and large-scale public pieces, magnifies the leaves from dandelions, banana trees, stinging nettle, and other species. Enlarging the specimens to reveal the intricate vein networks and subtle grooves in their midst, the lush murals are bright standouts among largely urban landscapes.

Although she’s spent the last few years painting birds, Renault tells Colossal that her interest in and devotion to plants is much deeper. “My mum taught me so much about growing your own food and growing vegetables as a kid. I didn’t know I was storing up important knowledge. Then during the pandemic, I think anyone who had a bit of love for nature and plants had time to get back to it, which was my case, too,” she says.

Renault works from photographs taken of her houseplants, those she encounters in the wild, and pre-pandemic, the gardens of the Ron Finley Project in Los Angeles—she splits her time between the city and her native Belgium. “I just get very excited whenever I see the beams of sunlight hitting leaves in a certain way, making that green seem translucent,” she shares, adding that her most recent obsession is with the prickly pear cactus and its iridescent sheen.

Some of the Plantasia series will be on view this September in Des Moines when Renault will also release a book cataloging the works. You can follow news on that show, along with her latest pieces, on Instagram.

 

Stinging nettle, Sweden

Dandelion, Gent

Avocado, Bayreuth, Germany

Banana

 

 



Art

Vegetation and Hybrid Figures Entwine in Winnie Truong’s Mythical Collaged Drawings

June 10, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Mothercraft” (2022), drawing and cut paper collage on panel, 20 x 16 inches. All images © Winnie Truong, courtesy of VIVIANEART, shared with permission

Canadian artist Winnie Truong recontextualizes the sleek, piecey qualities of human hair in her cut-paper collages. Constructed in layers within rectangular frames, the surreal works utilize the soft texture to depict flowers, vegetation, and strange anthropomorphic figures with elongated fingers and faces obscured by body parts or surroundings. Each piece is rooted in Truong’s drawing practice, and the colored pencil renderings add depth to the mythical compositions.

An extension of her two-dimensional works, these dioramas similarly explore the connection between women and nature. Many of the hybrid figures are entangled with foliage and their own anatomies, positioning traditional understandings of beauty alongside disorienting and more fantastic forms.

Visit Truong’s Instagram for more of her recent works and a glimpse into her process.

 

“Yellow Wallpaper and Scarlet Vipers” (2021), drawing and cut paper collage on panel, 20 x 16 inches

“Lilies in the Bog” (2021), drawing and cut paper collage on panel, 20 x 16 inches

“Twin Letdown” (2021), drawing and cut paper collage on panel, 24 x 18 inches

“Eyes at Dusk” (2022), drawing and cut paper collage on panel, 24 x 20 inches

“Distal Edges” (2021), drawing and cut paper collage on panel

“Gentle Snares” (2021), drawing and cut paper collage on panel, 20 x 16 inches

 

 



Photography Science

In ‘Seed Stories,’ Photographer Thierry Ardouin Unveils the Stunning Diversity of Plants

June 8, 2022

Grace Ebert

Proteaceae, Banksia grandis Willd., bull banksia. All images © Thierry Ardouin/Tendance Floue/MNHN, shared with permission

The basis of life for many species, seeds hold immense power for reproduction and population. Whether a descendent of the first specimens that appeared approximately 400 million years ago or a modern hybrid cultivated to increase food production, the generative forms are often visually striking in their own right with otherworldly colors, textures, and shapes.

Photographer Thierry Ardouin showcases these marvelous, strange qualities through hundreds of striking macro shots now compiled in a forthcoming book and exhibition. Positioned against stark black or white backdrops, the specimens are primarily derived from the carpological archives of the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, although some come from the International Agricultural Research Centre for Development and the Straw Cereal Biological Resource Centre. This wide-ranging collection includes the veiny, coiled moon trefoil, snake-like scorpion vetch, and small-bur marigold with its prickly body and horns.

The idea for the project germinated more than a decade ago when Ardouin was working on a documentary about French agriculture and discovered that large corporations own the patents to many seed varieties. He explains:

In 2009, in a very particular political context regarding undocumented immigrants, I noticed that there were ‘legal’ and ‘illegal’ seeds. The question arose : does a “legal” seed look like an “illegal” seed? But seeds are tiny and, to see them, I had to get close to them and make portraits of them, as I would do for human beings.

He’s documented approximately 500 specimens since, half of which appear in the pages of Seed Stories to be released this month from Atelier EXB. Spanning 336 pages, the volume is a testament to the incredible diversity and resilience of the natural world. Many of the photos are also included in a group exhibition opening on June 18 at the CentQuatre Paris, which will pair the images with seeds from the National Museum of Natural History collection that visitors can touch and even taste.

Find more of Ardouin’s works on his site, and follow his latest projects on Instagram.

 

Clematis delavayi Franch. Ranunculaceae. Clématite

Fabaceae, Hippocrepis scorpioides Benth., Scorpion vetch

Medicago scutellata (L.) Mill. Fabaceae. Luzerne à ècussons.

Asteraceae, Bidens frondosa L., small-bur marigold

Hedysarum glomeratum F. Dietr. Fabaceae. Sainfoin à têtes

Fabaceae, Medicago arborea L., Moon trefoil

 

 



Design

A Minimal Window-Laden Facade in Paris Sprouts a Luxuriant Vertical Garden

May 10, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Yann Monel and Michael Denancé, courtesy of Triptyque Architecture

Hidden under a lush canopy of vegetation on Paris’s Left Bank is a minimal, mesh-like structure housing a healthcare center, restaurant, and hotel. The project of the French-Brazilian Triptyque Architecture in collaboration with the Coloco landscaping studio, “Villa M” is a mixed-used building cloaked in a vertical garden that ascends from the sidewalk to the rooftop bar. Foliage and vines trail down from the hotel room balconies and sprout from planters embedded in the facade, establishing a verdant environment spanning 8,000 square meters in the middle of the busy Montparnasse.

In addition to the urban ecosystem, dozens of windows allow for natural lighting throughout the space. “We have explored all of the available surfaces to potentialise the greenery and to avoid energy and carbon waste,” architect Guillaume Sibaud told Plain Magazine. “Villa M” was also named the Building of the Year 2022 by ArchDaily.

For more of Triptyque’s environmentally conscious designs, visit its site and Instagram.

 

 

 

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