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Craft

A Painstakingly Crafted Village Perches Atop a Wooden Tower in Ognyan Stefanov's Miniature Utopia

May 5, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Ognyan Stefanov, shared with permission

Bulgarian artist Ognyan Stefanov pairs his day job as an aviation photographer with an equally lofty practice of crafting lavish architectural miniatures that soar high in the air. One of his creations is this utopic village, aptly named “Skyville,” which was designed as a self-sustaining enclave complete with shops, farms and gardens, a library, and a few homes, including the main house with the individually tiled pitched roof. Posted atop a latticed tower, the heavily landscaped town was designed to mimic real functionality with a water drainage system, pulleys, and walkways that climb from level to level.

Created at a 1/87 scale and spanning 36 x 16 inches, the 60-pound model took Stefanov two years to complete and is an amalgamation of wooden stirrers, popsicle sticks, and photo-etching techniques. Each scene is crafted with meticulous detail, from the luxe interiors filled with a chandelier, wrought iron bed frame, and framed artworks to the architectural elements like the wooden beams and circular windows. Even the minuscule characters appear to be in the middle of a task.

Check out Stefanov’s page dedicated to “Skyville” to see the work in progress and more glimpses of its richly decorated interiors.

 

 

 



Animation Design

Urban Centers Undergo 'Guerilla Greening' in GIFs that Reimagine Cities with Lush Vegetation

April 23, 2021

Grace Ebert

Fleet Street in London

The team over at WATG reenvisions some of the most iconic corridors in major cities in what the global design firm aptly describes as “guerilla greening.” Through a series of GIFs, streets in London, New York City, and Honolulu are transformed into lush, garden-like enclaves teeming with trees, new landscaping, and thick vegetation wrapping around the existing architecture. WATG poured years of research into the short animations, which visualize practical and viable adjustments that would improve air quality, promote bicycle and pedestrian traffic, and make the traditionally concrete-and-brick locales more ecologically diverse.

Read more about the ongoing project on the firm’s site, and keep an eye out for future transformations on Twitter and Instagram. (via Core77)

 

London

Flatiron in New York City

Kalakaua Avenue in Honolulu

 

 



Art

Olafur Eliasson's Newest Exhibition Floods Fondation Beyeler with a Bright Green Pond Filled with Plants

April 22, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Life” (2021), installation view at Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel. Photo by Mark Niedermann, courtesy of the artist; neugerriemschneider, Berlin; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles, © 2021 Olafur Eliasson

A flood of murky water overwhelms the stark white galleries of Fondation Beyeler in Basel, Switzerland. The new exhibition, simply titled “Life,” is the work of acclaimed Danish-Iceland artist Olafur Eliasson (previously), who set the Swiss institution awash in floating ferns, dwarf water lilies, shell flowers, red root floaters, and water caltrops.

To install the sprawling project, Eliasson removed the windows on one side of the museum’s facade, which allows visitors and nearby wildlife to enter the space at any time of day or night. The open-air environment subjects the manufactured reservoir indoors to the naturally occurring elements outside the building, like the weather, daylight, humidity, and smells and sounds of nearby public gardens. At night, a combination of UV lights and a fluorescent dye called uranine radiate brilliant colors throughout the water.

A prismatic livestream—Eliasson outfitted some of the cameras with apparatuses that mimic the sensory experiences of animals and insects—captures how the immersive space changes with each moment, especially as the surface reflects shadows and passersby. These interactions between human and non-human species foreground the project, which was inspired by anthropologist Natasha Myers who’s advocated for the advent of the “planthroposcene.” An alternative to the anthropocene, Myers’ concept is “rooted in the knowledge that plants are what made this planet liveable,” a statement says, clarifying that although the gallery is overrun with water, Eliasson’s goal is to evidence the interconnectivity inherent in nature.

Fondation Beyeler is housing Eliasson’s “Life” through July. Find more of the artist’s monumental projects on his studio’s site and Instagram. (via Artnet)

 

“Life” (2021), installation view at Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel. Photo by Mark Niedermann, courtesy of the artist; neugerriemschneider, Berlin; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles, © 2021 Olafur Eliasson

“Life” (2021), installation view at Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel. Photo by Pati Grabowicz, courtesy of the artist; neugerriemschneider, Berlin; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles, © 2021 Olafur Eliasson

“Life” (2021), installation view at Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel. Photo by Pati Grabowicz, courtesy of the artist; neugerriemschneider, Berlin; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles, © 2021 Olafur Eliasson

“Life” (2021), installation view at Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel. Photo by Mark Niedermann, courtesy of the artist; neugerriemschneider, Berlin; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles, © 2021 Olafur Eliasson

“Life” (2021), installation view at Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel. Photo by Pati Grabowicz, courtesy of the artist; neugerriemschneider, Berlin; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles, © 2021 Olafur Eliasson

“Life” (2021), installation view at Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel. Photo by Pati Grabowicz, courtesy of the artist; neugerriemschneider, Berlin; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles, © 2021 Olafur Eliasson

 

 



Craft Design

Three-Dimensional Botanics and Insects Are Sculpted in Elegant Stained Glass by Elena Zaycman

April 21, 2021

Grace Ebert

Detail of “The Tulips” (2021), made in collaboration with Jay Rose. All images © Elena Zaycman, shared with permission

From her studio in St. Petersburg, artist Elena Zaycman creates delicate flowers and tropical plants from vibrant stained glass. She strays from the traditional two-dimensional panels to produce lifelike forms that resemble fleshy petals and curved leaves found in nature. Whether a pair of tulips or fanned palm, Zaycman’s translucent designs refract light and cast tinted shadows in an array of organic shapes around the space.

Having worked with the medium for nearly a decade, the artist tells Colossal that prior to creating the smaller sculptures she collaborated with her sister on expansive projects that required a lengthy, complex installation in homes and other spaces. She began to produce the mounted pieces as a way to circumvent that process and make the art form more accessible to those without the resources for large, permanent works. Today, her sculptures often reflect vegetation and natural life spotted during travel—an encounter with a stray puppy on a trip to Bali informed many of the pieces shown here—or evoke playful, geometric characters, like in her Monstrics collection.

Zaycman was recently featured in the second edition of We Are Makers, and she sells downloadable patterns for a variety of moths and insects on Etsy. Follow her on Instagram for glimpses into her process and updates on available works.

 

“Banana Leaf” (2019). Photo by Natasha Lozinskaya

Detail of “Two Windows for Flowers” (2020)

“The Foxglove” (2021), made in collaboration with Jay Rose

“Flower” (2019). Photo by Natasha Lozinskaya

“Elkhorn Fern” (2019). Photo by Natasha Lozinskaya

“Licuala Palm” (2019). Photo by Natasha Lozinskaya

Detail of “The Foxglove” (2021), made in collaboration with Jay Rose

“Two Windows for Flowers” (2020)

 

 



Photography

Bright, Saturated Color Cloaks Houseplants and Flowers in Kaleidoscopic Photographs

April 19, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Artichoke.” All images © Lindsey Rickert, shared with permission

In Otherworldly Botanicals, Lindsey Rickert blankets sword ferns, a sprig of eucalyptus, dahlias, and other florals in a wash of vivid, candy-colored light. The Portland-based photographer is known for her portraiture and commercial projects that rely on bright, saturated tones, an approach she brings to the blossoms. Created entirely in-camera, the series frames the flowers at their peaks and is shot with studio lights covered in gel paper.

Spurred by lockdown and the inability to photograph people, the series began with the dewy Four O’Clock plant. “These beautiful flowers bloom in late afternoon and lose all their petals by the following morning… As the weeks carried on more subjects began presenting themselves as they came out of their winter dormancy, and the series was born,” Rickert says.

Sydney residents will be able to spot the chromatic flowers on a billboard in the coming months thanks to their inclusion in the Feature Shoot’s Global Billboard Project. Prints of the series are available in Rickert’s shop, and you can follow her work on Instagram. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

“Alocasia”

Left: “Sword Fern.” Right: “Alien Plant”

“Blushing Bride and Sword Fern”

Left: “Eucalyptus.” Right: “Frozen Botanicals”

“Four O’Clock”

“Dahlias”

Left: “Cafe Au Lait Dahlia.” Right: “Calla Lily”

“Calla Lily Leaf”

 

 



Craft

Fantastical Plants and Hybrid Characters Form a Strange Menagerie Crafted by Cat Johnston

March 19, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Cat Johnston, shared with permission

A moth-human hybrid, striped coral, and a smoking frog sporting a tracksuit inhabit Cat Johnston’s fantastical ecosystem crafted from paper, textiles, and sculpy or epoxy clay. The playfully bizarre creatures are inspired by monsters, mythology, and folklore, evoking deities and magnifying the strange qualities of plants and animals. Johnston created many of the lifeforms shown here shortly after moving to San Francisco and exploring the environment. “I was blown away by all the strange and lovely cacti and succulents and the animals I saw there (hummingbirds and pelicans and raccoons!) and wanted to create a landscape of plants and creatures that felt as alien and magical as California did to me,” she says.

Currently living and working in Portland, the illustrator and model maker first worked with paper for a stop-motion animation she did with Andersen M and Tundra studios and has been creating with the material since. She’s in the process of crafting two more characters, which she’ll be sharing soon on Instagram. You also might enjoy Roberto Benavidez’s piñatas and the felt storybook creatures by Cat Rabbit.