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Art

100,000 Cherry Blossoms Made of Salt Scatter Across the Floor of Setouchi City Museum of Art

March 29, 2021

Grace Ebert

Installation view of “Sakura Shibefuru” (2021), salt, at Setouchi City Museum of Art. All images © Motoi Yamamoto, shared with permission

Sprawling across a bright red floor at Setouchi City Museum of Art is Motoi Yamamoto’s sweeping installation of 100,000 cherry blossoms. Using a small, petal stencil and poured salt, the Kanazawa-based artist meticulously laid a mass of mineral-based buds during the course of 55 hours and nine days. Constructed radially, “Sakura Shibefuru,” or “Falling Cherry Petals” mimics the natural patterns formed around trees after the blossoms drop and end their life cycle each spring, a process Yamamoto (previously) says informed much of the work:

When the red-purple buds fall, for many people, this is also the time when they lose interest due to the flower season being over. However, this time can also be seen as a small nudge to think about the coming fresh greens of spring and midsummer…While thinking about the future of the buds, I created petals that had just fallen, piling the petals while contemplating the trees that produced these beautiful flowers with their thick trunks, supple branches, and powerful roots.

Paired with the crystalline blossoms are two of Yamamoto’s sculptural works from 1995, which the artist considers the origin of his practice and which he created following his sister’s death from a brain tumor. “This was an attempt to engrave into my heart the moment when an important life ceased to exist,” he says. Creating painstaking salt-based pieces like “Sakura Shibefuru”—which Yamamoto shares is, in part, a response to his wife’s death a few years ago—is meditative and a way to work through grief and retain memories.

“Sakura Shibefuru” is on view in Setouchi until May 5, and the artist currently is working on a large-scale project for Suzu’s Oku-Noto Triennale 2020+, which will be installed this fall in a former kindergarten building. Until then, watch Yamamoto’s works take shape on Instagram and YouTube, and shop originals, prints, and books in his store. (via designboom)

 

 

 



Design

Empowering Messages and Site-Specific City Names Grown from Salt Crystals and Succulents by Danielle Evans

June 18, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Columbus, Ohio-based typographer Danielle Evans uses her studio as a garden and lab. Previously she has planted hundreds of shrubs and succulents to spell messages of kindness, and grown text-shaped crystals as an ode to poet Nayyirah Waheed’s book of poems titled Salt. Recently while in Reykjavik, the designer arranged ice lettering around the city and the southern Golden Circle as a way to experiment with typography and the variables in Iceland’s topography. You can see more of Evans’s experiments with paper, lemons, dirt, jello, and more on her website, Instagram, and Behance.

 

 

 



Photography Science

Salt Crystals Dance and Grow Across the Screen in a Time-Lapse by Wenting Zhu

May 6, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Dalian, China-based videographer Wenting Zhu spent seven months creating The Arctic, a time-lapse video that explores the vastly different crystallization processes of salts. Crystals formed from salts including potassium nitrate and sodium sulfate explode like fireworks or appear to freeze like ice when seen through an accelerated lens. The film was created for Beauty of Science (previously), an ongoing series that presents aesthetically intriguing videos about science with a focus on chemical reactions. You can see more of Zhu’s macro photography on Behance and more footage from Beauty of Science on Vimeo. (via The Morning News)

 

 



Art

'Salt Years,' Explores Sigalit Landau's Lifetime Relationship With the Dead Sea

December 14, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Israeli artist Sigalit Landau (previously) has a practice that is deeply tied to working with the Dead Sea. Landau uses the hypersaline body of water as both a photographic backdrop and medium to suspend everyday objects, creating densely salt-encrusted sculptures. The items she chooses for her pieces are sometimes simply based on their textures and shapes, while others are chosen in order to filter memories that have been passed down to the artist through her parents and grandparents.

“These objects leave ‘the game’ of being useful ‘things’ and enter a new realm – the open space of representation,” said Landau to Colossal. “They loose their old features and dimensions and inhale a certain pureness of spirit, treated by climate and enhanced by emotion.”

A new book titled Salt Years, explores Landau’s process, bringing a new perspective to her salt crystal sculptures, video art, and images created over the last 15 years. Within the book Landau explores her process of “baptizing” objects in the Dead Sea’s waters, showcasing how the salt-filled sea breathes new life into the inanimate works through behind-the-scenes photos, and personal notes and essays.

You can pre-order the 288-page book through Landau’s Indiegogo campaign, and follow its progress through the book’s Facebook.

 

 



Art Photography

Saltscapes: Mirrors Reflect the Sky in an Australian Salt Flat Lake

May 4, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Mirror 11, 2017

Mirror 11, 2017

Since 2003, Australian photographer Murray Fredericks has made at least twenty journeys to the center of Lake Eyre, a desert lake with an extremely high concentration of salt. Fredericks drags all of his equipment out into the barren landscape, capturing the dramatic sky reflected in both the inch-deep water and his rectangular mirror. The images are breathtaking color-based works, my favorites featuring a double horizon locked within the mirror and the water below.

“In the ‘Vanity’ series, rather than reflecting our own ‘surface’ image, the mirror is positioned to draw our gaze out and away from ourselves, into the environment, driving us towards an emotional engagement with light, colour and space,” said Fredericks about the series.

Images from Vanity are included in his solo exhibition titled Salt:Vanity at Hamiltons Gallery in London through June 14, 2017. You can see a behind-the-scenes look at Fredericks’ photographic process and journey into Lake Eyre in the short video above. (via Ignant)

Mirror 13, 2017

Mirror 13, 2017

Mirror 30, 2017

Mirror 6, 2017

Mirror 6, 2017

Mirror 12, 2017, all images © Murray Fredericks

Mirror 18, 2017

 

 



Art

New Discarded Books Transformed Into Crystallized Sculptures by Alexis Arnold

January 3, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

“In the Shade of Vines” (2016)

San Francisco-based artist Alexis Arnold (previously) looks to isolate the material rather than the content of the books she freezes in time, calling attention to both their physicality and quickly diminishing presence in our day-to-day lives. Utilizing borax crystals Arnold sprouts hardened, iridescent forms from a publication’s pages, posing the work more like a natural artifact rather than human detritus. Culling through discarded and found texts, she chooses those that seem to hold the greatest metaphorical weight. These selected titles are often those centered around advances in technology or wonders of our natural earth—Arnold subtly gesturing to how many experiences we leave behind as computers continue to gradually store the bulk of our collective knowledge. You can see more of Arnold’s crystallized works on her website and Instagram.

“In the Shade of Vines” (2016)

“The Science of Wine: From Vine to Glass” (2016)

“The Complete Book of Crochet” (2016)

“Hugh Johnson’s Story of Wine” (2016)

“The Art and Adventure of Beekeeping” (2016)

“The Art and Adventure of Beekeeping” (2016)

“Napa Valley: The Land, The Wine, The People” (2016)