rainbows

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Photography Science

A Rainbow of Light Diffracts Through Hummingbird Wings in Photographs by Christian Spencer

July 18, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

All images © Christian Spencer. Shared with permission from the artist.

Australian photographer Christian Spencer has lived within Brazil’s Itatiaia National Park for nineteen years. The lush natural surroundings offer a multitude of photo opportunities ranging from pumpkin toadlets to false coral snakes. One of Spencer’s most fascinating finds is the way that light diffracts through the wings of hummingbirds in flight, resulting in a rainbow of colors within the birds’ feathers. The photographer has been following the petite birds for years, and his film recording of the phenomenon was included in his award-winning 2011 short film, The Dance of Time.

More recently, Spencer has returned to these full spectrum moments. Each image in the artist’s hummingbird series captures sunlight filtering through the wings and tail of a black and white Jacobin hummingbird. Despite our age of post-production and photo manipulation, the images were not digitally manipulated; the visual phenomenon is naturally occurring.’WINGED PRISM’ (below) won a prize at the Museum of Modern Art in Resende RJ Brazil, and is available as a fine art print on Spencer’s website. You can follow along with Spencer’s animal encounters and nature-inspired paintings on Instagram. (via My Modern Met)

“WINGED PRISM”

 

 

 



Amazing Science

Underwater Footage Captures the Mesmerizing Iridescent Webs of Two Blanket Octopuses Near the Philippines

June 27, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

While navigating the waters near Romblon Island in the Philippines, diver Joseph Elayani came across a magnificent sight. Elayani and fellow divers encountered two female Blanket Octopuses shimmering in the dark water, their rainbow figures illuminated against the dark and speckled sea. The animals get their name from the billowing net-like membranes that stretch between a few of their arms. When threatened, this web is stretched to create a ghostly silhouette to frighten away potential enemies. The mysterious creatures’ mating habits are just as confounding as their blanket-like attribute. Males grow to be about an inch long, while females can grow up to six-feet-long and weight up to 40,000 times the size of their partner. You can view more of Elayani’s dive on his Youtube channel. (via Laughing Squid)

 

 



Art

Jen Stark Unveils Colorfully Vivid Portals Based on Scientific and Mathematical Concepts at Joshua Liner Gallery

June 25, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

All images courtesy of the artist and Joshua Liner Gallery

Los Angeles-based artist Jen Stark (previously) uses materials such as paper, wood, and metal to create optically-charged sculptures based on complex scientific and mathematic concepts. Layered colors with both smooth and warped edges create tunnels into the unknown, forming visual interpretations of ideas such as infinity, evolution, or sacred geometry. One wall piece by Stark lines up dozens of layers of brightly colored paper which are sliced to fold on top of each other in a descending order of size. Others hang from the ceiling, inviting observers to peer at the works from multiple angles, to understand its composition from beside, underneath, and between its layers.

Stark’s solo exhibition Dimensionality runs through July 19, 2019 at Joshua Liner Gallery in New York City. You can see more of her dizzying vortexes on her website and Instagram.

 

 



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)

 

 



Design

A Cascading Metal Rainbow Fills a Bookstore in Suzhou, China with Layers of Transparent Hues

March 9, 2019

Andrew LaSane

All images: Yijie Hu

As a part of a larger project inside of a unique bookstore in Suzhou, China, architectural designers WUtopia Lab framed a reading room with a colorful structure referred to as the “Xanadu of Rainbows.” Made of one-centimenter thick aluminum sheets that have been perforated and cut into swooping shapes, the metal rainbow is created in a gradient that shifts through almost every shade in the ROYGBIV spectrum.

The word Xanadu is used to describe an idyllic space or place, which is what the architects sought to create with the vibrant, flowing design. The curved panels are installed along the ceiling and down the walls of the bookstore’s reading room and sections of the structure drip down like chromatic stalactites. In addition to creating an eye-catching aesthetic, the panels also functionally divide the open space into sections. To see more of WUtopia Lab’s interior and exterior work, check them out on Instagram. (via ArchDaily)

 

 



Art

Vibrant Gradients of Suspended Yarn Reflect HOTTEA’S Personal Memories

November 21, 2018

Andrew LaSane

“Odd Numbers”

Eric Rieger, known by the moniker HOTTEA (previously), is a graffiti writer turned installation artist whose medium of choice is yarn. With it, he creates colorful large-scale works inspired by the moments, experiences, and people in his life. Whether flowing down from the ceiling of a gallery, or interlaced across the top of a pedestrian pathway, Rieger’s installations always hold a connection to his past and those who helped shape it.

“Color to me represents memories and experiences,” Rieger told Colossal, “so in a way it is always in play. It all depends on what really strikes me at the moment of the installation.” When asked about his process, the artist revealed that it’s largely inspiration and concept that dictates form. “I have always let life unravel itself naturally and that informs my artistic practice. I let the space and my thoughts guide me, and from there I create a design based on what I am going through at the time.”

“Migration”

Rieger credits his retirement from graffiti as the catalyst that got him to his current work. “Not being able to paint anymore inspired to me to create something totally opposite,” he said, adding that the two practices are very different. “As a graffiti writer I only painted at night, I kept it from my family and I only practiced my artist name. Doing work under HOTTEA, I create all of my work during the day to interact with people, I share it with my family and create installations inspired by them… everything that I was as a graffiti writer I didn’t want to be as HOTTEA.”

Rieger’s grandmother taught him to knit at a young age, which is part of the family influence expressed through his work and his identity as an artist. “The very name HOTTEA is derived from a memory I have of my mother ordering hot tea on the weekends at Baker Square growing up,” he explained. “The name reminded me of all the good times we had as a family there and when my parents were still together. HOTTEA brings me absolute pure joy – it’s something I will fight for till the very end.” (via My Modern Met)

“I Bet You Are Flying Inside”

“Bad Dreams”

“Hot Lunch”

“Passageway”

“Romance”

 

 

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