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Photography

An International Photo Competition Illuminates the Captivating and Remarkable Sights of Earth’s Landscapes

February 8, 2022

Grace Ebert

Comet NeoWise Setting, Marin photographed by Tanmay Sapkal, Mt. Tamalpais, Marin, California, USA

From the brilliant dancing aurora of Iceland to Comet NeoWise hurtling above Mount Tamalpais, the winning shots of the 2021 International Landscape Photographer of the Year contest capture a diverse and captivating array of Earth’s topographies and phenomena. The annual competition is in its eighth year and garnered more than 4,500 entries centered on a variety of subject matter, including a mystical wood at Alcornocales Natural Park in Cadiz, the fairytale-esque flowers of France’s Vallée de la Clarée, and a wildlife fire in Yosemite National Park that appears more like a sunset on the horizon than massive blaze.

We’ve included our favorites from the 101 winners below, and you can see the entire collection on the contest’s site. For a deeper dive into the stories behind the photos, pick up a copy of the 2021 book.

 

Dancing Queen photographed by Roksolyana Hilevych, Arnarstapi, Iceland

Ghost Cave photographed by José D. Riquelme, Kirkjufell, Iceland

Silvia photographed by David Aguilar, Alcornocales Natural Park, Cadiz, Spain

Earth’s Calling photographed by Pierandrea Folle, Pollino National Park, Serra delle Ciavole, Italy

Party in the Valley photographed by Kassem Kalo, Vallée de la Clarée, France

The Cap on the Snowy Mountain photographed by Jana Luo, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

Compelled by the Core photographed by Daniel Laan, Near Moddergat, the Netherlands

Fire photographed by Marcin Zajac, Yosemite National Park, USA

Primeval Arch and Columns photographed by Simon Xu, Mono Lake, Lee Vining, California, USA

Born of Fire photographed by Filip Hrebenda, Fagradalsfjall area, Iceland

Long To Be photographed by Kai Hornung, Highlands, Iceland

 

 



Photography

Majestic Photos Capture the Dwindling Population of Madagascar’s Ancient Baobab Trees

February 7, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Beth Moon, shared with permission

In the fall of 2018, one of Madagascar’s most sacred baobabs cleaved and crumbled. The ancient giant was estimated to be about 1,400 years old and offered food, fuel, and fiber to the region before its trunk, which spanned 90 feet around, collapsed. Known as Tsitakakoike, which means “the tree where one cannot hear the cry from the other side,” the baobab was also entwined with local lore and thought to house the ancestral spirits of nearby Masikoro people. Its loss was devastating to the community and an ominous sign of how the climate crisis is permanently damaging these centuries-old trees.

Bay Area photographer Beth Moon (previously) has been documenting the species since 2006 and traveled to the region when Tsitakakoike fell. There she captured the cracked, deteriorating emblem along with other baobabs in similar states of crisis throughout Madagascar, Senegal, and South Africa. Shot in dramatic black-and-white, the images are rich in texture and frame the baobabs’ wide, crackled trunks and branches that splay outward into massive tufted canopies.

An act of visual preservation, Moon’s photos show how the massive trees’ exposed roots sprawled across the ground, a sure sign of years-long droughts causing many to become so dehydrated they cave under their own weight. These devastating effects are common in the region, which has experienced significant water shortages and rapid reduction of the baobab population in the last few decades. Moon writes about her visit:

Astonishment and horror set in as Tsitakakoike comes into view. Half of the tree has collapsed; a portion of the sides and back of the trunk remain. Gigantic branches, larger than most trees, lay in disarray at the base of the trunk. The entire spectacle is about the size of a football field.

During her visit, Moon captured dozens of photos, which are on view now as part of an online exhibition through photo-eye Gallery and compiled in a recently released book available on Bookshop. You can see more from her travels on Instagram.

 

 

 



Photography

Dramatic Ice Formations Mimic Unearthly Creatures Frozen in the Harz Mountains

February 4, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Jan Erik Waider, shared with permission

Hamburg-based landscape photographer Jan Erik Waider (previously) climbed the Harz Mountains in northern Germany last week in search of the otherworldly figures inhabiting its highest peak. A thick coating of ice transformed the evergreens and other vegetation at Brocken, the summit at an elevation of 3,743 feet, into towering beasts and monster-like characters that appear to wander the frozen tundra. “I like the muted sounds and the seemingly endless variations of gray that come with fog,” he tells Colossal. “I can wander for hours as the winter landscape changes and recomposes itself almost every minute.” Pick up a print of Waider’s Mountain Creatures and see the rest of the series on Behance. You also might enjoy these fantastical menaces.

 

 

 



Art

In ‘Boogey Men,’ Monumental New Works by Hugh Hayden Reflect on American Culture and Politics

December 9, 2021

Grace Ebert

Al images courtesy of ICA Miami, by Zachary Balber, shared with permission

An exhibition now on view at ICA Miami samples the recurring themes and motifs that are central to artist Hugh Hayden’s body of work: twisting flames spout from a wooden Adirondack chair and spindly twigs envelop a massive skeleton carved from bald cypress trees, two works that evoke the Dallas native’s barbed furniture and embedded branch designs. In a suspended installation comprised of metallic instruments and pots, faces mimicking traditional African masks emerge from copper cookware similar to the cast iron skillets he presented last year.

The metaphorical new pieces comprise Boogey Men, Hayden’s solo show that responds to myriad social dynamics, cultural issues, and an increasingly tense political environment through imposing, anthropomorphic forms and more subtle works. At the center of the exhibition space is a hammered stainless steel car disguised by a sheet painted in white. Both cartoonish and sinister in its reference to hooded Klansmen, the titular sculpture is an effective indictment of police brutality. Hayden gives attention to the origins of facets of American culture in the pieces that surround that central work, alluding to jazz and culinary traditions.

Boogey Men is on view in Miami through April 17, 2022, before it travels to the Blaffer Art Museum for a stay from June 11 to August 21. You can find more of Hayden’s work and view the process behind many of the pieces shown here on his Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Reality and Imagined Meditative States Converge in Tomás Sánchez’s Tranquil Landscapes

November 16, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Light: Outside, Inside” (2021), acrylic on linen, 100 x 80 centimeters. All images © Tomás Sánchez, shared with permission

Through serene, idyllic landscapes, Tomás Sánchez visualizes his long-harbored fascination with meditation. The practice, the Cuban painter says, is “where I find many of the answers to questions that transcend from the personal to the universal. Meditation is not always a fleeting time. Meditation is not a punctual exercise; it is a constant practice.”

Rather than conceptualize the exercise as a temporary state, Sánchez views mediation as a lens to interpret the world, a recurring theme that has foregrounded much of his work during the last few decades. His acrylic paintings and hazy graphite drawings, which take months if not years to complete, highlight the immensity and awe-inspiring qualities of a forest thick with vegetation or a nearby waterfall and offer perspective through a lone, nondescript figure often found amongst the trees. Distinct and heavily detailed, the realistic landscapes aren’t based on a specific place but rather are imagined spaces available only through a ruminative state.

If you’re in New York, stop by Marlborough Gallery to see Sánchez’s solo show, which is on view from November 18 to January 22. Titled Inner Landscape, the exhibition encompasses multiple pieces never shown before, including the pristine scenes shown here. Until then, explore more of his works on Instagram.

 

“Inner Lagoon…Thought-Cloud” (2016), acrylic on canvas, 200 x 199.3 centimeters

“La batalla” (2015), acrylic on linen, 200 x 250 centimeters

“El río va” (2020), acrylic on linen, 121.3 x 99.1 centimeters

“Aislado” (2015), acrylic on canvas, 199.7 x 249.9 centimeters

“Diagonales” (2018), conté crayon on paper, 30.5 x 40.6 centimeters

 

 



Art

Between Wounds and Folds: Suspended Cow Carcasses and Tree Stumps Reveal Layers of Discarded Fabric by Tamara Kostianovsky

October 11, 2021

Christopher Jobson

Photo © Etienne Frossard. All images courtesy the artist, shared with permission.

Working with the tattered remnants of consumer culture, artist Tamara Kostianovsky (previously) asks us to question the origins, process, and disastrous results of our seemingly unquenchable desire to buy and waste. Four distinct bodies of the artist’s work spanning fifteen years have been gathered at Smack Mellon in DUMBO, Brooklyn to form Between Wounds and Folds. The textile ecosystem of cow carcasses harboring new life, vibrantly hued cross-sections of trees, and colorful birds of prey, are constructed from repurposed fabrics and discarded textiles. In this final state, the soft pieces function as an echo of their concealed beginnings. Smack Mellon shares in a statement:

Through alternating softness and aggression, her installations identify the nuances of violence that exist between a personal encounter and its normalization on a social and ecological level. Kostianovsky’s work asks for a re-imagination of human rights and environmental redemption models in order to consider the resultant violence as part of a larger, inseparable system.

Between Wounds and Folds is on view until October 31, and you can explore more of the Brooklyn-based artist’s work on Instagram.

 

Photo © J.C. Cancedda

Photo © Roni Mocan

Photo © Etienne Frossard

Photo © J.C. Cancedda

Photo © Etienne Frossard

Photo © J.C. Cancedda

Photo © J.C. Cancedda

Photo © J.C. Cancedda

The artist in her studio © J.C. Cancedda

 

 

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