Dramatic views of Hawaii’s landscape by Jason Wright depart from typical depictions of the high profile islands. Rather than showing sandy beaches and palm trees, Wright’s images highlight the fierce and rugged places where land meets sea. Wright, who grew up in Hawaii, shares with Colossal that his experience as a life-long surfer informs his perspective as a photographer.
Being exposed to the power and ever changing conditions that affect our state—this power of the ocean thrills and terrifies me and keeps me coming back. Once you step foot on land’s edge, with no lifeguards or crowds, you know your place and who is in control. I love that I am drawn to a mix of excitement and fear that this experience can bring.
Wright explains that he creates his unique images by hiking in to scout locations, determining the positioning of the sun or moon and the water’s swell in his composition, and shooting in extremely low light, under a full moon or at sundown. Waiting for the right moment can sometimes take months.
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Have you ever wondered what a pill looks like as it dissolves in your stomach? Although this video by filmmaker Ben Ouaniche for Macro Room doesn’t create the exact same conditions as your gut, the time-lapse video does show the spectacular ways pills quickly disintegrate in water as they bubble, ooze, expand, and disappear. If this video sparked an interest in learning how other substances dissolve in water, can see a larger variety of Ouaniche’s macro video experiments (such as acrylic paint, ink, and ice cream) on Vimeo.
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Massachusetts-based artist Rachael Cassiani finds inspiration in her local beaches, dunes, and cloud-strewn skies to create abstract landscape paintings in various sizes and shapes. With a limited but vibrant color palette, Cassiani strips each scene down to its essential elements. Different shapes and hues create the illusion of depth and separation between air, land, and sea.
“I choose the structure of the paintings by looking at my scene and seeing where the most dominant hues are,” Rachael Cassiani said in a statement. “I exaggerate the natural colors of the original landscape.” While painting almost exclusively in the Martha’s Vineyard and Vineyard Haven areas of Massachusetts, Cassiani manages to capture her surroundings in a way that is not repetitive or homogeneous. The time of day and changing seasons completely alter the view, as does the artist’s choices regarding positioning and perspective. Swirls and daubs of oil paint add texture to some of the works, but they each feel like a small piece of a larger abstract puzzle.
To see more of Cassiani’s paintings, follow the artist on Instagram.
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Shuttered Windows and Placid Canals Show Venice’s Sleepier Side in Night Photographs by Thibaud Poirier
Scenes of contemporary Venice often inevitably include throngs of tourists amongst the centuries-old architecture. But French photographer Thibaud Poirier (previously) took his camera out during the city’s quieter hours. During a weekend trip this past winter, Poirier sought to capture the timelessness of Venice, a task easier done there than in other cities like Paris, Poirier tells Colossal, because of Venice’s lack of cars. Vehicles on city streets tend to simultaneously distract from, and date, photographs of buildings.
In his series Sleeping Venice, the still waters of the canals reflect illuminated docks and the warm-toned weathered facades of the city’s brick and stucco buildings. Poirier explains that he used Google Maps to locate bridge and canal intersections, and then explored the pinpointed areas on foot. Despite the aquatic elements in his image, the photographer shares that he actually took all the shots on land, from bridges, ledges, and dead-end streets. You can see more of Poirier’s work and travels on Instagram and Behance, and find information on purchasing fine art prints on his website.
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Boston-based conceptual artist Nathalie Miebach (previously) weaves colorful, complex sculptures using rope, wood, paper, fibers, and data from weather events. Two of the artist’s recent series explore the impact of storm waters on our lives and on marine ecosystems, with variables like wind and temperature (and the harmony of the composition) often informing the rainbow of colors used to translate the data into a three-dimensional structure.
The “Changing Waters” series uses data from The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Gulf of Maine Ocean Observing System (GoMOOS) buoys as well as from coastal weather stations to show relationships between weather patterns and changes in marine life. Similarly, the artist uses meteorological data from recent storms including Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Maria, and Hurricane Katrina to inform her “Floods” series, which looks at the events both from scientific and human experience narratives. Cut and woven elements are connected to form geometric shapes and patterns that are as layered and in flux as our understanding of the storms themselves.
Miebach tells Colossal that her exploration of the intersection of science and art began while taking continuing education astronomy courses at Harvard University and basket weaving courses at a nearby school. As a tactile learner, she found it easier to understand the abstract concepts and ideas of the former by using the latter. “I was lucky to have a very open-minded professor who accepted it without any questions. I’m not sure if it hadn’t been for his openness to this somewhat unconventional way of learning astronomy, if I would have continued.”
See Miebach’s work in two solo shows opening this fall, at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft in Texas and the Cedarhurst Center for the Arts in Mt. Vernon, Illinois. Her work will also be exhibited as a part of group shows at Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts at Florida Institute of Technology, at New Media Gallery in Vancouver, and at Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, Massachusetts. Follow the artist on Instagram to see more of her sculptural work and for more details on upcoming exhibitions.
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In Lupanar, an installation by French artist Nicolas Tourte, water flows on a never-ending path over the floor, walls, and ceiling of an art gallery. Displayed in a darkened room, the slithering 130-foot route shows a continuous video loop, which includes the rushing sound of the white-capped waves as they surge across the room. A statement about Lupanar on the artist’s website explains that the installation is meant to provoke thoughts about time and its persistent push through our individual and collective human experience.
The piece was originally shown in 2015 as part of the festival Interstice #10 in Caen, France, and was most recently exhibited at Base Sous-Marine, a former submarine base built during World War II, in Bordeaux. You can see more work from Tourte on his website and Instagram. (via Trendland)
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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.”
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Editor's Picks: Photography
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