After setting up shop in a London corner store and NYC-style bodega, Lucy Sparrow (previously) has grown her unusual art showing/selling technique into a full-blown ’80s-style supermarket. Taking up 2,800 square feet of the Standard Hotel in Downtown LA, the British artist’s fifth large-scale installation is quite literally stuffed with replicas of everyday products, each handmade from felt. The shelves are packed with different ramen and instant noodle soups, Reese’s Puffs, Frosted Flakes and other popular cereals, three different brands of peanut butter along with Smucker’s grape or strawberry jelly, a whole range of favorite snacks, chips, pasta or rice, and all the essential personal hygiene products.
In 2014 Sparrow successfully used Kickstarter to fund her first major project in London called The Corner Shop, which offered 4,000 hand-sewn felt products. Three years later she hopped across the pond to open 8 ‘Til Late, a bodega located in Manhattan at The Standard, High Line with 9,000 items that sold out a couple of days before the official closing date. Challenged by the demand for her plush groceries, the artist locked herself inside her Felt Cave studio for a year and produced her largest and most elaborate project to date — Sparrow Mart.
The retro shop has all the familiar selections of American comforts, including a videotape rental section with ’80s classics like Footloose, Dirty Dancing, and Short Circuit. She also has fresh hand-sewn seafood on ice, sushi, fruits and vegetables, a variety of meat cuts and other animal products, popular snacks, canned goods, cereals, candies, sodas, liquor and cleaning products. Each item is meticulously cloned from felt, a material that evokes childhood and play. The fact that the store offers 27 different types of sushi (each produced in 300 pieces), plus chopsticks, wasabi, pickled ginger, and even soy sauce packed inside iconic plastic fish containers, says a great deal about the amount of detail and determination that went into creating this overwhelming installation. Working alone until very recently, the artist ended up hiring four full-time assistants in her studio and outsourcing fifteen professionals to complete this immersive project.
Offering a felt ATM in between the isles, an exclusive gallery section in the back, and ending with three felt checkout stations, each of the 31,000 products on view is available for purchase with prices ranging from $5 for bubblegum to $73 for a kimchi Michelada. Sparrow Mart is open through the end of August 2018 from 11am-9pm (closed Mondays). The installation is accompanied with Sparrow To Go, a 24/7 restaurant in the lobby of the hotel, offering dishes inspired by the items in Sparrow Mart and prepared by the hotel’s executive chef Julio Palma. After this, the artist is considering creating a similar installation in Chicago, Dallas, Melbourne, or somewhere in Asia, like Hong Kong or Tokyo. You can see more from Sparrow on Instagram.
Share this story
British sculptor Debbie Lawson works in the space between two and three dimensions, forming wild animals that emerge from old-fashioned rugs. The artist builds her animals from scratch, using chicken wire and masking tape, and then covers them with identical or near-identical Persian carpets to create the illusion that the creature is fused with the hanging rug.
Lawson explains to Colossal, “I have always ‘accidentally’ spotted images in patterns, on textured walls and floors made of wood or lino – any material really. It’s an obsession that I decided to explore in the studio, using first wood grain and then carpet to make work in which the pattern morphed into an actual image or form…More recently I have focussed on animal forms to explore the idea of camouflage, and of its opposite: display.”
Red Bear is on display until August 19 2018 at the Royal Academy of Arts in London as part of the 250th Summer Exhibition curated by Grayson Perry. Persian bear is permanently displayed (along with a moose in the same style) at London’s Town Hall Hotel. You can see more of Lawson’s finished works and take peeks into her studio process on Instagram. (via Hi-Fructose)
Share this story
Spanish textile artist Judit Just Anteló moved to Asheville, North Carolina in 2013 to further develop her textile brand Jujujust. Although she studied fashion design, sculpture, and textile art in her hometown of Barcelona, she first learned the standards of weaving from her mother as a small child. Anteló applies these more traditional techniques to her current practice, updating the old methods with splashes of neon color and engaging combinations of vibrant threads.
“Most of my tapestries are just an involuntary result of an improvisation, a dance with colors and materials,” Anteló tells Colossal. “I like to let myself flow and see what it transforms into afterwards. Once I finish and approve one design, I keep the original in my studio to reproduce it in different color variations. Then I redo them and make them evolve and metamorphose into other creations.”
Anteló weaves her tapestries with rye knots created on a lap loom or eight-harness table loom, depending on which type of wall hanging she is attempting to make. You can find a variety of her works for sale on her Etsy shop, and take a peek into her studio on Instagram.
Share this story
Colorful Installations of Spray Paint and Mesh Form Connections Between the Analog and Digital Worlds
Hanover and Berlin-based art duo Quintessenz recently completed a large-scale installation for the newly funded Paxos Contemporary Art Project, which is currently taking place on the island of Paxos in the Adriatic sea. Although designed to be appreciated and enjoyed in person, the images of their intervention created inside of a 400-year-old ruin are quickly becoming viral due to the work’s strong contrast against the historic setting.
With roots in both graffiti and chromatics, Thomas Granseuer and Tomislav Topic of Quintessenz combine aspects of spray paint, textiles, installation, and the digital image in their work. Their large site-specific works and facade murals often uses shape as the main inspiration, while also borrowing aesthetic elements found on location.
The duo transform spaces into frameworks for presenting their abstract creations and challenging the spectator’s perception. These ideas are present in their recent installation Flickering Lights, which was was created for Fashion Week Berlin back in January 2018, and Pardis Perdus installed in Les Baux-de-Provence, France in 2017. In both of those installations, and their latest piece in Paxos, the artists use dyed or spray painted fabric in a range of layers as a way to interact with light conditions and points of view. The one-ton construction Flickering Lights was suspended in a large hall of Panorama Berlin from over 32,000 square feet of fabric and dyed with over 200 gallons of paint.
Similar to the Paradis Perdus piece, their latest intervention in Greece used the architectural structure to emphasize the effect of their creation. Like digital abstract images somehow transferring into the real world, both these pieces employ color shades and different size layers to create depth and perspective illusion. Appearing bigger and smaller depending on the observer’s movement, they leave room for individual experiences of these interfaces between analog and digital worlds. Although exceptionally photogenic, the artists’ idea is to enjoy these works in person. “We hope that the visitors of our work leave their mobile phone cameras in their pockets for a moment and simply enjoy the light and the translation of the wind in the material,” Quintessenz explains.
Share this story
Australian fiber artist Tammy Kanat uses unique combinations of richly textured fabrics and materials to form large-scale abstract wall weavings. The former jewelry designer began weaving in 2011, when she trained at the Australian Tapestry Workshop. Using an organically shaped ovoid metal frame, Kanat works in colorful natural materials like wool, mohair, silk, hemp, and jute to create her sculptural pieces. You can see more of creations on the artist’s Instagram. (via My Modern Met)
Share this story
Brazilian Conceptual artist Ernesto Neto manifests sensorial experiences in highly trafficked public spaces, encouraging passersby to slow down their everyday movements to interact with, smell, and relax in his temporary installations. His most recent work was created in partnership with the Fondation Beyeler in the concourse of Zurich’s main train station. The 65-foot green and orange work, GaiaMotherTree, extends to the ceiling, while its base creates a temporary oasis in the middle of the bustling station.
The sculpture was created with a finger-crocheting technique that took 27 people several weeks to complete. The surface of the structure is fragile, yet like all of his installations, Neto encourages visitors to touch and experience their physical forms. In addition to activating touch, he has also hung over 1300 pounds of aromatic ground spices such as turmeric, cloves, cumin, and black pepper in bags that surround and counterbalance GaiaMotherTree. These smells add to a feeling of relaxation which Neto hopes serves as a respite for visiting travelers.
The work is inspired by a spiritual connection with nature practiced by the Huni Kuin, members of an indigenous community in the Amazon region of Brazil. Neto has been working closely with the group since 2013, and their values, sense of community, and craft has been a large influence into his recent practice. “This work is all about intimacy,” Neto explains in a short video that explores the process below. GaiaMotherTree will be on display in Zurich Main station through July 29, 2018. You can see a list of public programming associated with the installation on Fondation Beyeler’s website. (via Designboom)
Share this story
Poet and textile artist Miranda van Dijk prints found images onto delicate faux floral arrangements made from canvas, cotton, or voile. The vintage images are transferred onto the textile plants using a digital printing technique, and are either hidden in the curve of a petal or are displayed prominently on one of the plant’s leaves. These works are then imbedded in a natural environment, allowing her sculptures to blend into wildflower gardens and other lush scenes.
For her series Sensitive Survivors, van Dijk modeled her pieces on twelve different forms of weeds. “Before the idea came up, I was obsessed by weeds,” the Dutch artist tells Colossal. “I saw them everywhere. Between my tiles in the garden, the playground. I found them so strong yet so fragile at the same time.”
Recently van Dijk published a book titled Sensitive Survivors (written in Dutch) which presents poetic connections between her handmade plants and the individuals printed on their forms. You can buy select pieces from Miranda van Dijk from her Etsy store, and learn about about her work on her website and Instagram. (via Anna Marks)
Share this story
Editor's Picks: Fashion
Highlights below. For the full collection click here.