salt

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Photography

Aerial Images of Salterns That Blur the Line Between Photograph and Painting by David Burdeny

November 30, 2016

Kate Sierzputowski

Pink Pools, Hut Lagoon, Western Australia, 2015

Pink Pools, Hut Lagoon, Western Australia, 2015

Photographer David Burdeny, whose photo of a towering iceberg we featured last month, has been working on another large-scale photography project. Burdeny began the series SALT: Fields, Plottings and Extracts in 2015, using aerial photography to explore some of the world’s most vibrant salterns in Utah, Mexico, and Australia. Gazing upon the images it’s difficult to determine whether the expressive boxes of color are produced with a camera or paintbrush, or if the gestures were made by hand or nature.

“In their use of amorphous shapes, elongated fields of color and vertical, jagged and sinuous lines, Burdeny’s images suggest the painterly expressiveness of Rothko, Still, Newman, Diebenkorn and late career Willem de Kooning,” explains an essay written about the project. “The effect is less intentional than it is available—Modernism’s abstracted reordering of the visual landscape…permits a non-objective reading of these compositions.”

These works, along with a selection of Burdeny’s aerial photographs from Dutch flower fields, will be included in the solo exhibition Salt and Veld opening December 15th at Gilman Contemporary. The exhibition runs through January 20, 2017. You can see images from Burdeny’s SALT series, as well images from Cuba, Russia, and Brazil on his website.

Saltern Study 14, Great Salt Lake, UT, 2015

Saltern Study 14, Great Salt Lake, UT, 2015

Saltern Study 02, Great Salt Lake, UT, 2015

Saltern Study 02, Great Salt Lake, UT, 2015

Saltern Study 15, Great Salt Lake, UT, 2015

Saltern Study 15, Great Salt Lake, UT, 2015

Saltern Study 06, Great Salt Lake, UT, 2015

Saltern Study 06, Great Salt Lake, UT, 2015

Saltern Study 12, Great Salt Lake, UT, 2015

Saltern Study 12, Great Salt Lake, UT, 2015

Searles Lake 2, Mojave Desert, California, USA, 2015

Searles Lake 2, Mojave Desert, California, USA, 2015

Saltern Study 08, Great Salt Lake, UT, 2015

Saltern Study 08, Great Salt Lake, UT, 2015

 

 



Art Photography

A 19th Century Dress Submerged in the Dead Sea Becomes Gradually Crystallized with Salt

August 24, 2016

Christopher Jobson

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Salt Crystal Bride Gown III, 2014. Sigalit Landau & Marlborough Contemporary.

Israeli artist Sigalit Landau‘s love affair with the Dead Sea stretches back decades, having grown up on a hill that overlooks both the Judean desert and the northern part of this hypersaline lake that is among the saltiest on Earth. In her artistic practice she utilizes the lake both as a backdrop—one of her most iconic artworks involves a video portrait of herself floating in the lake with an unraveling string of 500 watermelons—as well as a means to produce sculptural objects encrusted with thick layers of salt. Sigalit has created salt sculptures of violins, bicycles, boots, and fishing nets covered in carnallite crystals.

Her latest photographic work titled Salt Bride takes us several meters underwater to view the gradual crystallization of a 19th century dress weighted to the floor of the Dead Sea. The dress was inspired by S. Ansky’s famous play The Dybbuk about a young woman possessed by an evil spirit. From Marlborough Contemporary:

Written by S. Ansky between 1913 and 1916, The Dybbuk tells the story of a young bride possessed by an evil spirit and subsequently exorcised. In Landau’s Salt Bride series, Leah’s black garb is transformed underwater as salt crystals gradually adhere to the fabric. Over time, the sea’s alchemy transforms the plain garment from a symbol associated with death and madness into the wedding dress it was always intended to be.

To achieve the photographs, Landau collaborated with photographer Yotam From who had to wear over 150 pounds of weight just to submerge himself in the harsh saline water. The final installation incorporates a series of 8 life-size photographs currently on view at Marlborough Contemporary in London through September 3, 2016. You can read more about the exhibition on Artsy. (via My Modern Met)

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Salt Crystal Bride Gown III, 2014. Sigalit Landau & Marlborough Contemporary.

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Installation view at Marlborough Contemporary.

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Salt Crystal Bride Gown III, 2014. Sigalit Landau & Marlborough Contemporary.

 

 



Art

New Labyrinths of Poured Salt by Motoi Yamamoto Cover the Floors of a French Castle

May 25, 2016

Kate Sierzputowski

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“Floating Garden,” all images © Motoi Yamamoto

Motoi Yamamoto (previously here and here) meticulously sculpts large scale installations formed from salt, tiny lines delicately arranged on the floor of galleries and museums. In his latest exhibition titled “Univer’sel,” Yamamoto has created two pieces in a 13th-century medieval castle in Aigues-Mortes, located in the south of France.

The first piece, ‘Floating Garden,” is installed in a circular room, appearing like swirling clouds or thick ocean foam. Without a walkway it is impossible to view the piece up close, viewers only able to view Yamamoto’s labor from afar. The second piece, “Labyrinth” is arranged in a stone passageway within the castle’s ramparts. The appearance of the work mimics the title, a maze that becomes more detailed the further it grows from a mountain-like pile of salt towards the back of the installation.

“Univer’sel” opened May 17 and also includes the salt works of Jean-Pierre Formica. Their work will be on display through November 30. (via Designboom)

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“Floating Garden”

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“Floating Garden”

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“Floating Garden”

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“Labyrinth”

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“Labyrinth”

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“Labyrinth”

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“Labyrinth”

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“Labyrinth”

 

 



Design Science

This Portable Salt-Powered Lamp Stays Illuminated for 8 Hours on a Glass of Seawater

July 27, 2015

Johnny Waldman

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First the sea gave birth to life. Now, thanks to a trio of Philippine-based inventors, it is giving birth to light as well. Led by engineer Lipa Aisa Mijena, the team has developed a lamp that’s capable emitting light for 8 hours on just 1 cup of saltwater. Not only are the Philippines prone to natural disasters like typhoons and earthquakes but the country is made up of over 7,000 islands, most of which do not have access to electricity, says the team. But one thing they do have is the sea, an abundant source of saltwater that can now be used to light homes and, in emergencies, power cell phones.

The saltwater-powered lamp uses the same science that forms the basis of battery-making. Where they differ from batteries is that the entire reaction is safe and harmless. Moreover, there are no flammable materials or components that go into lamp. Used 8 hours a day, every day, the team says the lamp can provide light for 6 months (or even over a year if used more efficiently) without having to replace any parts.

Over the past year or so SALt (Sustainable Alternative Lighting) has won 7 different sustainability and entrepreneurial awards. If interested, you can enter your name and email on their website to receive product updates but right now the team is focusing on building lamps for their target communities. (via Web Urbanist)

 

 



Photography

Purple Views of the San Francisco Bay Salt Ponds by Julieanne Kost

September 26, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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While flying south of San Francisco recently, photographer Julieanne Kost managed to capture this beautiful series of photographs that look like something out of a Dr. Seuss book. The color in the photos isn’t altered, nor were the images taken with an infrared lens, instead what you’re seeing are countless trillions of microorganisms thriving away inside shallow salt ponds. It takes an average of five years to transform bay water into salt brine, during which the various organisms that live in the ponds undergo a dramatic chromatic shift as the salinity increases. You can a bit more about the process over on Amusing Planet, and see more of Kost’s photographs on Behance. All photos courtesy the photographer. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

 



Art

Floating Garden: A New Poured Salt Installation by Motoi Yamamoto at Mint Museum Uptown

July 2, 2013

Christopher Jobson

Japanese artist Motoi Yamamoto (previously) recently stopped by Mint Museum Uptown in Charlotte, North Carolina to pour one of his immense, twisting clouds of salt. Titled “Floating Garden” the piece was created over several weeks from February through March before a crowd of attendees was permitted to destroy it. Watch the time-lapse above to see everything come together (and apart). Via the museum:

Salt, a traditional symbol for purification and mourning in Japanese culture, is used in funeral rituals and by sumo wrestlers before matches. It is frequently placed in small piles at the entrance to restaurants and other businesses to ward off evil spirits and to attract benevolent ones. Motoi forged a connection to the substance while mourning the death of his sister, at the age of twenty-four, from brain cancer, and began to create art out of salt in an effort to preserve his memories of her. His art radiates an intense beauty and tranquility, but also conveys something ineffable, painful, and endless.

You can see numerous installation and process photos over on Facebook.

All photos by James Martin, The Mint Museum