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Craft

Miniscule Paper Plants Nestle in Intricately Woven Baskets by Raya Sader Bujana

December 23, 2019

Grace Ebert

All images © Raya Sader Bujana, shared with permission

Barcelona-based artist Raya Sader Bujana (previously) painstakingly cuts and scores tiny paper monsteras, ficuses, and philodendron that stand just a few inches tall. The life-like plants feature wrapped brown stalks and green leaves that are no bigger than a finger. Often sitting in miraculous hand-woven baskets, each plant takes between five and six weeks to complete. The artist tells Colossal that each project starts with a vague idea and evolves along the way.  “I like applying techniques from other artistic disciplines or crafts, such as weaving or basketry and translating them to paper,” Bujana writes. These pieces are part of Tiny Big Paper House Plants, a series she began in 2017. Many of Bujana’s miniature creations can be found on Instagram and are available for purchase on Etsy.

 

 



Documentary Science

Fantastic Fungi: A New Film Explores Earth’s Vast Network of Mycelium and Mushrooms

December 17, 2019

Grace Ebert

A new film considers how mycelium and mushrooms have created an often-unseen network, similar to an underground internet, that has connected all living beings for the last 3.5 billion years. Featuring conversations with food journalist Eugenia Bone, mycologist Paul Stamets, and writer Michael Pollan, Fantastic Fungi: The Magic Beneath Us dives into how the diverse underground web creates the soil necessary for plants and trees to root. “It’s amazing what we don’t know about mushrooms. They really are a frontier of knowledge,” Pollan says in the film.

Fantastic Fungi explores seven benefits of the organisms, including those dealing with biodiversity, innovation, food, arts, and mental, physical, and spiritual health. Screenings are scheduled worldwide through February 2020. Follow updates on the film directed by Louie Schwartzberg and the broader fungi movement on Instagram. (Thnx, Laura!)

 

 



Design

50,000-Square-Foot Garden Populates New Workspace, Making It the Densest Urban Forest in Los Angeles

December 12, 2019

Grace Ebert

Designed by Spanish architects SelgasCano, a Los Angeles workspace has popped up in a formerly empty parking lot in Hollywood. The recently opened SecondHome Hollywood boasts a 50,000-square-foot garden of 6,500 trees and plants and 700 tons of soil and vegetation. It is Los Angeles’s densest urban forest and is also home to 112 native species.

The Hollywood location, which is the first in the United States, contains sixty yellow-roofed office pods. It also encompasses the Anne Banning Community House, a ’60s building designed by prominent architect Paul Williams who is known for defining much of Los Angeles’s architectural aesthetic throughout the 20th century. (via Jeroen Apers)

 

 



Art

Dense Installations by Max Hooper Schneider Feature Vibrant Landscapes Scattered with Human Objects

December 6, 2019

Grace Ebert

Max Hooper Schneider‘s formal training in marine biology and landscape architecture is apparent in his recent installation titled “Hammer Projects.” Schneider’s work features rich landscapes overflowing with colorful natural elements that are interspersed with human objects, like a container of cheese balls, a rusting rifle, and strings of beaded necklaces.

The Hammer Museum describes the Los Angeles-based artist’s work as an attempt to decenter the human experience and challenge assumptions about how and why we classify objects. Through his installations, Schneider explores dichotomous relationships—like the human and nonhuman, construction and destruction, and the political and the personal—that traditionally have informed daily life.

If you’re in Los Angeles, you can see Schneider’s work at the Hammer Museum through February 2, 2020. Otherwise, follow him on Instagram.

 

 



Photography Science

Colored Micrographs Magnify Pollen Seeds, Plant Cells, and Leaf Structures in Photographs by Rob Kesseler

December 5, 2019

Grace Ebert

Medicago arborea. All photographs (c) Rob Kesseler, shared with permission

Using scanning electron microscopy and a mix of microscopic, scientific, digital, and manual processes, artist Rob Kesseler develops colored micrographs of the intricate patterns within pollen and seed grains, plant cells, and leaf structures. The highly magnified photographs feature specifics of cellular composition that are undetectable without magnification.

Kesseler tells Colossal that as a child, his father gifted him a microscope, marking a pivotal moment in his creative career. “What the microscope gave me was an unprecedented view of nature, a second vision,” he writes, “and awareness that there existed another world of forms, colours and patterns beyond what I could normally see.” The artist says his use of color is inspired by the time he spends researching and observing, and that just like nature, he employs it to attract attention.

Kesseler calls the intersection between art and science “a process and a product, a morphogenetic synthesis of two expansive cultures and a way of examining the world through a series of filters.” And he has hope for the relationship between the two disciplines, saying, “I like to think we are entering a new age where after a century of separation, artists and scientists are again working together, sharing ideas that reflect our age.”

Currently the chair of Arts, Design and Science at Central Saint Martins, Kesseler also is a fellow of the Linnean Society, the Royal Society of Arts and the Royal Microscopical Society. His most recent work includes a project with journalist Mathew Tucker of the BBC and a collaboration with Dr. Louise Hughes at Oxford Instruments. Both deal with the impacts of climate change on the plant world.

You can find more of Kesseler’s painstakingly created photographs on his Instagram and in his books featuring pollen, seeds, and fruit. (thnx, Mike!)

Santolina chamaecyparissus

Avena fatua

Scabiosa cretica

Salix caprea

Daucus carota

Anemone hortensis

Viburnum

Allium

 

 



Art Craft

Magnificently Detailed Porcelain Vessels by Hitomi Hosono Are Blossoming with Hundreds of Flowers, Leaves, and Branches

November 18, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Commission of A Large Dancing Hawthorn Vase” (2019), moulded, carved and hand-built porcelain, 15 3/8 x 17 3/4 inches

Stunning new decorative vessels by Hitomi Hosono layer delicate porcelain flowers and leaves into dimensional forms that appear almost alive. The lavishly embellished bowls and vases feature clusters of finely detailed blossoms, ferns, and stylized tree branches in an aesthetic somewhere between realistic and stylized. In a statement on her gallery’s website, the Japan-born, London-based artist explains that she is inspired by walks in her neighborhood. She closely examines each botanical specimen to create models and moulds, and then hand-carves additional details on each pressed sprig.

Since we last covered Hosono’s work, she has been an Artist in Residence at Wedgwood—the video below takes a look inside the artist’s practice during that time. The London-based artist exhibits widely, and most recently had work on view in “A Natural Selection” at The Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh. Explore much more of Hosono’s work on the Adrian Sasson website, and peek inside her studio practice by following her on Instagram.

“A Nadeshiko and Mangrove Bowl” (2019), moulded, carved and hand-built porcelain, 6 1/8 x 11 3/8 inches

“A Nadeshiko and Mangrove Bowl” detail

“A Very Large Pine Tree Pool” (2019), moulded, carved and hand-built porcelain, 3 1/8 x 16 7/8 inches

“A Very Large Pine Tree Pool” detail

“A Dancing Pine Tree Tower” (2018), Moulded, carved and hand-built porcelain, (L:) 9 7/8 x 8 1/8 inches; (R:) 9 5/8 x 5 3/4 inches

“A Tsubaki and Leaves Bowl” (2018), moulded, carved and hand-built porcelain, 4 1/2 x 13 5/8 inches

“A Small Dancing Sakura and Michikusa Bowl”(2019), moulded, carved and hand-built porcelain, 3 1/8 x 7 5/8 inches

“A Very Large Zenmai Bowl” (2018), moulded, carved and hand-built porcelain with yellow gold leaf interior, 11 x 13 inches

 

 



Illustration

Charming Illustrations by Rosanna Tasker Feature Adventurous Women in Stylized Worlds

October 24, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Using a combination of  pencil, crayon, and gouache, Bristol-based illustrator Rosanna Tasker creates evocative illustrations that convey lively energy and fantastical nostalgia. In Tasker’s illustrations, female figures are often the protagonists, with animals and plants playing supporting roles. Strong geometric shapes, concentrated mark-making, and carefully considered negative space in tightly controlled color palettes form dynamic imagery.

Tasker, who is 25, studied illustration at University of the West of England, Bristol. In an interview with Irina & Silviu, the artist explained that she found her artistic voice by “unlearning everything I was told at school and college about how I should draw. That stuff is important too, and I do believe in learning the rules before breaking them, but to find your own unique style you definitely have to return to your uninhibited childhood roots and rediscover what comes naturally to you,” she shared.

Tasker works full-time as an illustrator, with a roster of editorial and publishing clients including The New York Times, The Guardian, and Tangent Books. Her prints and greeting cards are available from Etsy and Toi Art Gallery, where a selection of works are in the gallery’s Unstoppable Women show. Take a peek inside Tasker’s studio in this interview, and follow along with her latest projects on Instagram.