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Art

Densely Arranged Stone Gradients Sweep Across the Sand in Jon Foreman’s Extraordinary Land Art

April 15, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Jon Foreman, shared with permission

An expert in the hypnotic, Wales-based artist Jon Foreman continues his exquisite constructions that position stones and shells into perfectly arranged formations. His most recent pieces include a mesmerizing gradient circle, concentric swirl, and seaside surge that show an evolution from his earlier land art by adding even more density and precision to his already meticulous practice. Because he works in public spaces subject to the elements, Foreman’s compositions last only a short period, although he sells prints in his shop for those wanting to preserve their entrancing nature. You can follow his latest creations and travels on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Ritualistic ‘Moon Drawings’ by Yuge Zhou Etch Patterns in Snow and Sand

February 10, 2022

Grace Ebert

January 2021. All images © Yuge Zhou, shared with permission

“In traditional Chinese culture, the moon is a carrier of human emotions,” writes artist Yuge Zhou. “The full moon symbolizes family reunion.” This belief grounds Zhou’s meditative series of landscape drawings that etch wide, circular patterns in the beach along Lake Michigan and in snowy parking lots near her apartment.

The Chicago-based artist postponed a visit with her family in Beijing back in 2020 and has since channeled her longing to return into her ritualistic performances. Filming aerially at dawn, Zhou traces the patterns left by the moon with her suitcase and allows the glow of nearby light poles to illuminate the concentric markings. Stills from the videos appear more like dreamy renderings than footage, an aesthetic choice that corresponds with their allegorical roots in the Han dynasty legend, “The lake reflecting the divine moon,” about the universality of longing.

Having created five works in summer and winter, Zhou likens the pieces to “mantras suspended in a time of waiting.” Until she’s able to return to China, she plans to add more drawings to her collection and continue “bringing the moon down to me on the earth.” For more of the artist’s multi-media works, visit her site and Vimeo.

 

February 2022

January 2020

July 2020

February 2022

August 2021

 

 



Photography

Strong Winds Sculpt Frozen Sand into Otherworldly Pillars on a Lake Michigan Beach

January 12, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Joshua Nowicki, shared with permission

Last weekend in St. Joseph, Michigan, tall layered pedestals and sloping tables sprung up from the otherwise calm Tiscornia Park Beach, turning the lakeside vista into a strange, otherworldly environment. Photographer Joshua Nowicki (previously) captured the ice-laden phenomenon, which is caused by powerful winds eroding frozen sand and carving dozens of towering shapes haphazardly placed along the shore.

The unearthly constructions, which look like miniature hoodoos, arise periodically during Great Lakes winters, although Nowicki says these 15-inch formations are some of the tallest he’s stumbled upon. “They do not last very long (usually only a couple of days). The wind completely erodes them or knocks them down. If the temperature goes up above freezing they crumble, and often in the winter, they soon get covered by drifting snow,” he shares.

Find more of Nowicki’s photos documenting the sights of the Midwest’s infamously frigid season on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art Craft

Canning the Sunset: Hundreds of Jars of Dyed Sand Preserve the Swirling Colors of a Skyline Before Dusk

December 2, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Carly Glovinski, shared with permission

There’s a human impulse to preserve life’s blissful moments—a quick scroll through your camera roll will probably give you plenty of evidence—one Carly Glovinski gives into by bottling up the rich, swirling gradients the cloak the sky at day’s end. Her ongoing Canning the Sunset project, which the New Hampshire-born artist began in March of 2020, layers hand-colored sand in reused glass jars to capture the last hours of light before they descend into dusk.

Now stored in hundreds of vessels in various shapes and sizes, the grainy compositions range from subtle pastel palettes to vibrant oranges and yellows, rationing the short-lived hues “for times of scarcity,” Glovinski says. “The sunset marks the sky with color in a fleeting moment each day, slipping down behind the horizon like grains of sand through an hourglass. To try and capture it, contain it, or possess it is a futile, and impossible gesture. ”

Canning the Sunset is on view through December 4 at Untitled Art Fair Miami with Morgan Lehman Gallery, and Glovinski shares more of her paintings, sculptures, and other projects on Instagram. You also might enjoy these calming sunrises by Sho Shibuya.

 

 

 



Art

Ephemeral Compositions Use Sand and Stone to Create Hypnotic Works on Land

November 19, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Jon Foreman, shared with permission

The wildly prolific Wales-based artist Jon Foreman has spent much of 2021 on a new batch of mesmerizing land pieces. Expanding on the swirling, organic shapes he’s known for, many of his recent works take on minimal, geometric formations in diagonal stripes or colorful, concentric circles. Foreman created a 2022 calendar featuring some of the compositions shown here—ordering instructions are on his Instagram—and you can find prints of his ephemeral pieces in his shop.

 

 

 

 

 



Design

Zen Gardens by Yuki Kawae Interrupt Doomscrolling with Meditative Patterns

August 30, 2021

Grace Ebert

A welcome disruption to doomscrolling, the patterned zen gardens composed by Yuki Kawae are an antidote to today’s seemingly endless anxieties. The Bay Area designer records meditative footage of wide-toothed prongs and dense rakes that scrape across beds of white sand, creating intersecting loops, fractals, and other organic shapes. Each clip is evidence of Kawae’s steady hand and penchant for precision as he meticulously plows the otherwise smooth grains to form clean lines.

His practice dates back to 2019 when gardening served as an escape from life pressures and the anxiety-provoking nature of social media. “I was quite overwhelmed with day-to-day tasks and what are the ‘expected’ next steps in life…One day, I realized all of those thoughts were completely gone when I was gardening, pruning, watering, and re-potting the soil. That process let me be clear-minded somehow, and it was very calming and refreshing,” he writes. Because he didn’t have space for a larger outdoor plot, he shifted to a coffee-table-sized zen garden, an initial design that’s now provided a similar reprieve when it pops into the feeds of Kawae’s massive followings on
YouTube and Instagram.

 

Today, the designer focuses on pattern and precise movement, creating visuals that are minimal and deliberate in their execution. Each video requires hours of work consisting of conceptual vision, rake design and production, pattern practice, revisions, filming, and editing. “You may have some idea of the end product but with trial and error, you end up with a completely different end pattern,” he says. “All the zen garden patterns are not permanent, and they get erased to start a new one. It is temporary like many things in life. It taught me about what not to overthink as what I am stressing about may also be temporary.”

Although Kawae’s works have been limited to digital platforms so far, he envisions a large-scale botanical space with greenery, zen gardens, and his abstract paintings, some of which form the backdrop for his videos. He also has a background in woodworking and shares detailed instructions for creating your own sand space, from building the enclosure to choosing rakes.