sculpture

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Art

Rainwater Collecting Installation by John Grade Dazzles Like an Outdoor Chandelier

April 29, 2019

Anna Marks

Situated in a clearing within an Italian forest, John Grade’s latest installation, Reservoir, appears like a chandelier glistening among the pine trees. Reservoir is featured in the Arte Sella Sculpture Park in Borgo Valsugana and is made up of five thousand clear droplets each of which is delicately attached to translucent nets, supported by tree trunks.

On designing Reservoir, Grade (previously) studied the Park’s ecosystem, carefully planning the installation in harmony with the surrounding landscape. “I became most interested in the way rain falls through this grove of trees, the canopy delaying the droplet’s journey to the ground as well as how quiet and sheltered the forest was during a heavy rain,” Grade tells Colossal. “I wanted to make a sculpture that responded to the rain directly as well as a sculpture that responded to people.”

Reservoir is constructed from heat-formed plastic parts framed with steam-bent strips of Alaskan yellow cedar. Each droplet is attached to marine nets with fishing line which are then incorporated with stainless steel rings to maintain tensions and support the tree trunks above the structure. The shape of the translucent droplets are formed from casts of human hands cupped together. “We cast ten different people’s hands for variations in scale,” Grade explains.

When rain falls or snow lands the water accumulates within Reservoir’s clear pouches, giving them their droplet-like shape. In doing slow, the installation gets heavier and lowers, while in sunny, warm weather, it rises back into its original structure as the liquid evaporates. “The sculpture rises and falls with precipitation differently each time it rains or snows,” says Grade. Springs below the installation limit the vertical range of movement, so Reservoir always remains 10 feet above the forest floor.

The dry sculpture in its original configuration weighs 70 pounds, but when filled with rainwater, it can exceed 800 pounds. Reservoir serves as a water resource for the surrounding landscape: when the water it holds evaporates, it creates a humid environment for the surrounding vegetation to flourish.

Movement also manipulates the structure of Reservoir, and, as part of the project, Arte Sella connected Grade with Andrea Rampazzo, a dance artist based in Italy. Rampazzo choreographed a performance, where four dancers would interact with the sculpture, making the installation rise and fall depending on their movements. “Each tree has a cable connecting the net to the ground running down its length via pulleys which can either engage the spring limiting its downward trajectory to 12 feet of movement or bypass the spring to a second pulley near the base of the tree at waist height,” Grade explains. “This way the dancers can pull or release any of the nine lines to create varied movement in the sculpture.”

Occurring during one day of festivities, the dance lasted 45 minutes and was performed three times during the day. “The four dancers also had the assistance of four members of my studio team to help work the lines during the performance,” says Grade. Due to more control over Reservoir, the dancers brought the sculpture down to two feet from the ground, so their bodies were fully immersed in the thousands of droplet-like forms. “Because we were lucky to have rainfall, the dancers were able to abruptly jerk the movements and shower themselves with water,” Grade explains. “Now we can watch the sculpture collect and release and move over the seasons and build upon those nuances to create a second installation. Wind may become a significant inspiration the next time.”

You can view more of Grade’s work on his website, or visit his Instagram page.

 

 

 

 



Art Design

An Enormous Stylized Bird Sculpture Sprawls Atop a Mountain in India

April 24, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

A massive sculpture of a legendary bird has taken shape at Jatayu Earth’s Center in Kerala, India. Based on the epic story of Ramayana, Jatayu is a noble bird of divine origin who lost his wing and fell while fighting to protect a young woman named Sitha. The bird as recreated in concrete at the  Center is 200 feet long, 150 feet wide, and 70 feet tall, with stylized feathers and enormous curled claws. Its prone body is sprawled on a mountaintop with a 65 acre tourist destination campus.

Jatayu Earth’s Center is a collaboration between the Tourism Department of Kerala and renowned film director Rajiv Anchal and focuses on environmental sustainability in its design. The Center includes systems of rainwater irrigation, solar powered electricity, and planned organic farms. Learn more about visiting on the Jatayu Earth’s Center website. (via Design You Trust)

 

 

 



Craft

Candy-Colored Plants and Animals from the Imagination of Hiné Mizushima

April 23, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Vancouver, Canada-based textile artist Hiné Mizushima (previously) brings a cuddly, colorful approach to creepy-crawly plants and animals. Fungi, insects, and single-cell organisms get a felted makeover in pastel hues with embroidered, stitched, and crocheted details. Mizushima often optimizes her works for display either by allowing them to be worn as brooches or by affixing them to plaques or in bell jars to showcase at home.

In addition to her stationary creations, Mzushima also creates animations, including a recent music video commission for They Might Be Giants, which engages the traditional Japanese needlework technique kogin. You can see more of Mizushima’s felted flora and fauna on Behance and Instagram, and purchase prints of various pieces on Etsy.

Commission for The New York Times Canadian web campaign

 

 



Art

Long-Limbed Mythical Characters Carved from Hawthorn Wood by Tach Pollard

April 18, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Owlman Rising”

Sculptor Tach Pollard (previously) works with sustainably sourced hawthorn wood to form lustrous sculptures of mythological figures. After carving the wood, the UK-based artist finishes it with blow torches to form the dark bodies that contrast with the pale, peaceful faces on each sculptural figure. Pollard draws inspiration from myths and spiritual traditions from around the world, including Inuit and Celtic traditions, and is particularly drawn to the notions of shapeshifting and sea creatures. You can see more of his mystical sculptures on Instagram and peruse works available for purchase on Etsy.

“Mellisae Returns”

“Wind Walker”

“Sea Wolven”

“Fire Antler”

“Freya”

“Face Like The Sun II”

“Wolven Walking”

 

 



Craft

Intricate Tessellations Expand and Contract in New Folded Paper Works by Ekaterina Lukasheva

April 10, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

San Francisco-based paper artist Ekaterina Lukasheva (previously) makes dazzling tessellations seem like child’s play, effortlessly folding complex designs from matte and iridescent paper. The beautiful works have a double presentation, as they each work as expanded and contracted forms. Lukasheva has published several books on her DIY paper works, including her most recent Floral Origami: From Begin er to Advanced: 30 Delicious Origami Flowers and Balls for Home Decoration.  You can see more of her folded paper masterpieces in motion on Instagram.

 

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Art Craft

New Three Dimensional Narratives Composed from Discarded Books

April 9, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

UK-based book sculptor Emma Taylor sources old books from charity and antique shops and gives them a second story. Taylor uses simple materials—just glue, paper, and scissors—to sculpt architectural facades, lively animals, and leafy trees from otherwise unused titles. Each scene is inspired by the book’s written content, with a garden scene emerging from An Introduction to Botany and Italian houses built out of The Story of Venice. The artist shares on her website that she has been carving and sculpting books for several years, and has exhibited her creations in Cambridge, London, and Hong Kong. Taylor has recently opened an Etsy shop stocked with a few of her paper-based artworks, and shares updates on new works on Twitter. (via Colossal Submissions)

 

 



Art Design

Dimensions Blur in Aakash Nihalani’s Minimalist Optical Illusions

April 8, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Aakash Nihalani (previously) is known for his illusionist interventions that push the boundaries between two and three dimensions. Though he started off using using tape to form ephemeral installations, in the last few years Nihalani has moved into more permanent territory, working with wood and metal to form free-standing and wall-mounted sculptures. Throughout his practice, the artist works with simple geometric shapes and minimal black and white color palettes accented with neon. Nihalani, a Queens, New York native, graduated from New York University’s Steinhardt School in 2008. Discover more of his mind-bending installations on Instagram.

 

 

 

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