public art

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Art Craft

A 20 Foot-Wide Tapestry by Vanessa Barragão Recreates the World in Textural Yarn

July 19, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

In celebration of a partnership between London’s Heathrow Airport and Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, fiber artist Vanessa Barragão (previously) was commissioned to create a massive botanical tapestry. Using a range of techniques including latch hooking, felt needling, carving, crochet, Barragão mapped out and built up a textural surface that emulates a map of the world.

Earth’s diverse climates and topography are represented in yarn: the deserts of Australia and Africa are conveyed in warm, low-pile colors, whereas Barragão represented the lush rainforests of South America and the high peaks of central Asia with shaggy deep greens and coiling crocheted ridges. The artist also incorporated native plants like China’s Gingko biloba, European Cypripedium calceolus (lady’s slipper), and the coffee of Africa.

Barragão spent 520 hours on the piece, which is completely handcrafted and spans nearly 20 feet wide. The work is on view at Heathrow Airport’s departure area, echoing the diverse and globe-trotting guests who cross its path. To see more from the Porto, Portgual-based artist, follow Barragão on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art Design

Cloud-Like Clusters Form THEVERYMANY’s Pillars of Dreams

May 30, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Photographs by NAARO, courtesy of THEVERYMANY

A new cloud-like collection of bulbous towers stands on a building campus in North Carolina. The sculptural creation, titled Pillars of Dreams, is by Marc Fornes and his New York-based studio THEVERYMANY (previously). Located outside county buildings in Charlotte, the public art piece stands 26.5 feet tall and 43 feet wide, and required 54,000 rivets to hold together over 3,500 individual metal sheets. Pillars of Dreams is composed of eight columns that merge at the top in spherical formations, and hues of pink and blue on the interior peek through in perforations that add to the airy quality of the structure. In a statement on the sculpture, the studio describes it as “a soft landing in a field of quiet moments and curious interactions” that is “meant to be moved through rather than appraised as an object.” Explore more of THEVERYMANY’s ethereal structures on Instagram and Vimeo.

 

 



Art

Monochrome Figures Drip and Slice Into Chromatic Layers by Gina Kiel

May 20, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Wellington, New Zealand-based artist and designer Gina Kiel creates large-scale murals of black and grey figures with layers of concentric colors bursting from their core. The works are often set against a bright blue background which blends the colors of New Zealand’s sunny skies with its surrounding sea. Kiel’s psychedelic palette also includes an array of yellow smiley faces, which can be found layered behind realistic human faces or other segmented body parts. You can see more of her murals and design work on her website, Instagram, and Behance.

 

 



Art

Dozens of Mirrored Prisms Respond to Movement with Dazzling LED Lights

April 2, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

All images © Alan Tansey

All images © Alan Tansey

Mirror Mirror, a recent commission by the Alexandria, Virginia’s Office of the Arts, is a reflective semi-circular structure which hides a prismatic array of mirrors at its center. The multi-colored panels are placed at sharp angles within the round sculpture, and refract dazzling, geometric patterns of light as the sun hits its interior. The work was produced by New York-based design studio SOFTlab, who was inspired by the lens used in the city’s historic 19th-century lighthouse. The Fresnel lens was an advanced technology at the time, and uses a series of prisms to create a bright and direct light source as a navigational aid.

In addition to reflecting Alexandria’s waterfront and the surrounding urban environment, the outdoor installation has LED fixtures that respond to visitors’ voices and bodies. Each vertical component of the structure is activated to produce light, allowing the work to be brilliantly illuminated, even after the sun sets. A demonstration of how the sculpture reacts to human movement can be seen in the video below. You can view more works by SOFTlab on their website and Instagram. (via designboom)

 

 



Art

Over 10,000 Tree Samples Compose a Modular Cave-Like Installation at the Royal Fort Gardens

March 21, 2019

Anna Marks

Credits: Katie Paterson & James Cohan, New York. Photos by Max McClure

Credits: Katie Paterson & James Cohan, New York. Photos by Max McClure

Situated within the Royal Fort Gardens at The University of Bristol, British designer Katie Paterson and architects Zeller & Moye collaborated on Hollow, a wooden installation that illustrates the diversity of tree species found across the globe. From the outside the sculptural work appears as a series of rectangles made from a similar, light colored sample of wood, yet when one enters the modular elements break into wooden blocks of all shapes, sizes, and hues. Clustered rectangular structures emerge from the ceiling and floor of the cave-like public art piece like stalactites and stalagmites. The structures are composed of a range of wood samples, including ones that evolved millions of years ago to far more recent examples. 

During three years of research and sourcing Paterson collected over 10,000 tree samples from various sources, including the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, the Arnold Arboretum at Harvard University and Yakushima, known as one of the wettest, forest-filled islands surrounding Japan. The collection also features a piece of wood from the Indian Banyan Tree, a fig tree where Buddha achieved enlightenment, the Japanese Ginkgo tree, and the Metuselah tree, found in the White Mountains in eastern California, which at 4,850 years old, is believed to be one of the oldest trees in the world.

Hollow is an ethereal environment for both play and meditation, and resembles a forest canopy with patches of light dappling in from the ceiling. The construction illustrates the detailed beauty of the natural world, and is poignant reminder of the importance of appreciating and maintaining our fragile natural environment. To step virtually into the permanent installation, visit Hollow‘s website

 

 



Art Design

Bubbletecture: A New Book Explores Decades of Soft Architectural Forms and Inflatable Designs

February 25, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Skum, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) (architect), Roskilde, Denmark, 2016. Picture credit: Rasmus Hjortshoj (pages 46-47)

Bubbletecture, a forthcoming book from Phaidon, captures the incredible range of inflatable architecture, fashion, art, and design that has been created over the last several decades. From chair-shaped balloon creations by Seung Jin Yang to a blow-up aubergine concert hall by Arata Isozaki (previously) and Anish Kapoor (previously), the included designs range from aesthetic interpretations of puffy inflatables to pieces that highlight their ease and functionality. The book, which was written by New York City-based architect Sharon Francis, presents more than 200 examples of shape-shifting designs dating back to the 1960s. You can discover more soft architecture forms and air-filled frocks by preordering the book on Amazon. (via Web Urbanist)

Eden Project, Grimshaw Architects (architect), Bodelva, Cornwall, UK, 2000. Picture credit: © Hufton + Crow (page 106)

Ark Nova, Arata Isozaki and Anish Kapoor (architect / artist), Matsushima, Japan (or elsewhere), 2013. Picture credit: The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images (page 88)

Blowing Balloon Collection, Seung Jin Yang (designer), South Korea, 2015. Picture credit: Seungjin Yang (page 266)

Dactiloscopia Rosa, Plastique Fantastique (architect), Madrid, Spain, 2017. Picture credit: courtesy of Penique Productions (page 71)

Shelter, Leopold Banchini with Daniel Zamarbide (architect), Geneva, Switzerland, 2016. Picture credit: Dylan Perrenoud (page 41)

Drift, Snarkitecture (designer), Miami, Florida, USA, 2012. Picture credit: Markus Haugg (page 154)

RedBall Project, Kurt Perschke (artist), various, 2001—ongoing. Picture credit: Kurt Perschke (page 101)

 

 



Art

Glass Lilac, Daffodil, and Magnolia Blossoms Thrive Underground at New York City’s 28th Street Subway Station

February 21, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

A new mosaic mural breathes life into the recently reopened 28th Street Station in New York City thanks to a cheerful design of blossoming glass flowers by artist Nancy BlumROAMING UNDERFOOT depicts plants that were chosen from the Madison Square Park Conservancy’s Perennial Collection because of their ability to withstand climate change, such as Red Buds, Magnolias, Hellebores, Witch Hazel, Daffodils, and Camellia. “Blum’s intent was to capture some of the magic of the nearby park, regarded as an urban sanctuary, and to enhance the station environment for transit riders,” explains the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in a statement about the new work. If you live in NYC, take the Lexington Ave Line to visit the newly sprouted station, and check out more of Blum’s floral drawings and public art on her website. (via Gothamist)