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Art

Stumble Upon Seven New Reclaimed Wood Trolls by Thomas Dambo in the Forests of Boom, Belgium

July 9, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

In anticipation of Tomorrowland’s 15th anniversary, the Belgium-based festival commissioned Danish artist Thomas Dambo (previously) to build seven of his world-renowned trolls throughout the De Schoore area in Boom. Like his previous installations in Copenhagen, South Korea, and northern Illinois, the new cast of creatures are built from recycled and reclaimed wood from pallets, buildings, and fallen trees. Carved wood forms geometric noses and human-sized feet, while scraggly tree branches create untamed hair and beards.

“Trash is a material and it only depends on how you work with it,” Dambo explained in a press release about the project. “We can design an entire world out of trash. We need to look at it and then think about what to do with it. That’s why I’m building these bigger-than-life scale projects. By doing that and involving people, they will open their eyes and see the possibilities and opportunities that lay in our trash. I hope that my art will inspire people to recycle and encourage them to be kind to nature and our planet.”

Although the trolls were built for the festival, visitors to the De Schoore recreational area can also happen upon the 13 to 60-foot-tall sculptures, in addition to an observation tower built from found branches. Follow along with Dambo’s friendly beasts on his website and Facebook.

 

 



Design

A Cherry Blossom-Inspired Torch Will Kick Off the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

March 21, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Yesterday, on the first day of spring, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics torch was revealed to the public at a press conference in the hosting city. The floral design is inspired by Japan’s cherry blossom, a flower celebrated in festivals across the country each March. Conceptualized by Tokujin Yoshioka, the torch features five petal-shaped cylinders that will each contain a flame, and is constructed from aluminum waste from temporary housing built after the Great East Japan Earthquake.

The materials and blossom concept are meant to reinforce the upcoming Olympic Torch Relay concept, “Hope lights our way,” delivering a message of support and unification as the torch is carried to the New National Stadium for the opening ceremonies. The official relay will be held for 121 days, beginning March 26, 2020, and be passed to 80-90 runners each day. Relay ambassadors for next year’s event include three-time judo Olympic gold medallist Tadahiro Nomura, three-time Paralympian Aki Taguchi, and actress Satomi Ishihara. You can see a 360-degree view of the cherry blossom design in the video below. (via Spoon & Tamago)

 

 



Design Science

Upcycled Lobster Shells are Transformed into Functional Planters and Packages

February 22, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Four designers from the Royal College of Art and Imperial College have found a second life for the lobster tail you might’ve splurged on for Valentine’s Day. The project team, dubbed Shellworks, created a bioplastic by combining vinegar with chitin, a fibrous substance that is the main component of crustacean’s shells, as well as fungi cell walls. Though there is currently a commercially available version of chitin, called chitosan, it is extremely expensive.

The Shellworks team created five of their own machines, named Shelly, Sheety, Vaccy, Dippy and Drippy, to manipulate the chitin-based materials with varying stiffness, flexibility, thickness, and translucence. The resulting range of potential products includes self-fertilizing planters, pill blister packs, and food containers, which can be recycled or composted. By making this process more accessible and affordable, Shellworks hopes that their innovations might allow for larger-scale replacement of the plastic we use every day. You can learn more about the project in the video below, and on the Shellworks website and Instagram. (via dezeen)

A range of material properties that can be created from chitin without any additives

 

 



Design Photography

Recycled Packing Materials Sculpted Into Elaborate Renaissance Costumes by Suzanne Jongmans

November 7, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Interdisciplinary artist Suzanne Jongmans uses her skills as a sculptor and costume designer to create recycled garments from packing materials such as Styrofoam, plastic sheets, and segments of thick bubble wrap. The costumes take the form of elaborate bonnets and high collared dresses which are then photographed on subjects in poses reminiscent of portrait styles from the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries. Specifically the Dutch artist references paintings created by artists such as Rembrandt, Holbein the Younger, and Rogier van der Weyden in her styled photographs.

Jongmans draws connections between contemporary disposable materials and the aesthetics of fine silks or lace, presenting creative takes on centuries-old clothing. “The idea of making something out of nothing changes our look on reality,” she explains. “…Most people throw that [foam] away. I make clothing out of it; foam is my textile.” You can see more of her portraits and garments sculpted from recycled materials on her website and Facebook.

 

 



Art

Mischievous Wooden Trolls Take Over an Arboretum in Northern Illinois

August 7, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

This summer, Danish artist Thomas Dambo (previously) has brought his fun-loving and kid-friendly trolls to the Morton Arboretum near Chicago, Illinois. Six site-specific characters range from Joe the Guardian surveying the neighboring highway to Sneaky Socks Alexa hidden in a cluster of shrubs. Dambo constructed the large storybook creatures using reclaimed wood sourced from fallen trees and branches as well as retired pallets and packing crates. Each figure towers up to thirty feet tall, with reclining Little Artur stretching sixty feet long. The exhibition, titled Troll Hunt, marks the Copenhagen-based artist’s first large-scale show in the United States. You can see Dambo’s fantastical creations at the Arboretum through the end of 2018 (and possibly into 2019, weather-dependent). Follow along with his creations on Facebook.

 

 



Art Design

Collaborative Lamps That Weave Traditional Fibers With PET Plastic Waste

February 1, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Spanish designer Alvaro Catalán de Ocón started the PET Lamp Project in 2011, collaborating with communities from all over the globe to transform plastic waste into unique and functional works. Over the past five years Catalán de Ocón has worked with artisans in Colombia, Chile, Japan, and Ethiopia to produce the collaborative lamps, most recently working with eight Yolngu weavers from Arnhem Land in Australia’s Northern Territory.

The collaboration was prompted by the National Gallery of Victoria Triennial who commissioned the designer to create woven lamps that express the craft traditions and visual languages of weavers from the Australian community. Catalán de Ocón worked with Lynette Birriran, Mary Dhapalany, Judith Djelirr, Joy Gaymula, Melinda Gedjen, Cecile Mopbarrmbrr, and Evonne Munuyngu from the Bula’Bula Arts Centre in Ramingining to produce a series of circular ceiling-mounted lamps. The works combine PET plastic bottles with naturally dyed pandanus fibers, and are inspired by patterns seen in traditional Yolngu mats.

A work from the project, PET Lamp Ramingining: Bukmukgu Guyananhawuy (Every family thinking forward), is currently on view as a part of the National Gallery of Victoria Triennial through April 15, 2018. You can see more of Catalán de Ocón’s past collaborations with artisan weavers on his website. (via Yellowtrace)

     

 

 



Art

Figurative Sculptures Formed From Recycled Cardboard by James Lake

November 3, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Artist James Lake has used cardboard as his medium of choice for the last 20 years. The-UK based sculptor pieces together multiple layers of the recyclable material with hot glue to create free-standing  figural sculptures that are often a reflection of his own image. Lake was diagnosed with bone cancer at age 17, and began working the material after his right leg was amputated. During rehabilitation he searched for a material that could be easily accessible from his bedroom.

“I wanted a medium that can be used to sculpt beyond traditional material and without the need of an arts studio,” says Lake. “The end result was the fine crafting of an inexpensive common place and recyclable material. I manipulate cardboard into taking a form which is vastly beyond its original function as a container to transport food and commercial goods.”

Lake continues to discover the possibilities of the versatile material, and has become further interested in the value his time, effort, and care placed on the disposable packaging. Currently the artist runs art workshops in his community, providing a resource to propel sculptural artist practices in local schools and colleges. You can learn more about the cardboard sculptor and his practice in the short video below. (via Rajapack)

 

 

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