In her series of sewn together and crocheted leaves and twigs, Susanna Bauer (previously) considers the fragility of nature and humans’ inextricable tie to its survival. The Cornwall, England-based artist combines the found elements with fine cotton thread to produce unique objects steeped in the history of craft. Intimate marks add detail to small patches or the complete outline of browned leaves, drawing our attention the natural growth pattens found in their interior. A selection of her free-standing and framed sculptures are currently on view with Le Salon Vert at VOLTA Basel in Switzerland through June 15, 2019. You can view more of Bauer’s works formed from leaves, thread, and twigs on her website and Instagram.
Netherlands-based artist Redmer Hoekstra (previously) presents surreal depictions of animals merged with architectural exteriors and everyday objects. The illustrator combines hawks and bell towers, giraffes and toothbrushes, and imagines a goose composed of saxophones rather than feathers. The playful drawings are both literal and abstract: one sad wiener dog is tied in the middle like an edible frank, and pair of swans’ soft tufted feathers fly off like dandelion seeds. Soon Hoekstra will begin a large-scale drawing titled “Noah’s Ark II,” a reimagining of the famous boat occupied by the animals “that didn’t make it,” he explains to Colossal. You can see more of the artist’s work on Behance and Instagram, and view works for sale in his shop.
French interior designer and visual artist Alice Pegna is attracted to unusual or surprising materials, often using objects outside of their intended purpose. For her project Ex Nihilo, Pegna designed an entire series of geometric dresses and headpieces formed from pieces of uncooked spaghetti. “Spaghetti is basically reserved for cooking, and in the collective imagery it appears fragile. These two reasons pushed me to want to use it,” she explains in her artist statement about the project. “On the other hand I like its features. It has a certain flexibility due to its finesse, while remaining rigid and easy to split.”
Pegna starts each design by forming polygons, which create architectural details while also increasing the strength of the combined pieces. Each sculptural garment is intended to add to the human body, changing the way we see it by obscuring it as little as possible. This is clear in the way that Pegna displays her creations with minimal mannequins and matte backgrounds. The designer and artist wants to highlight the objects on the body while creating a sense of emotion with added effects of light and smoke.
Berlin-based artist Klára Hosnedlová builds installations that evoke the feeling of romanticized dressing rooms. Her recent exhibition titled Seated Woman (pictured here) was inspired by the stage design of the bedroom scene in the 1924 Karel Hugo Hilar production of Romeo and Juliet at the National Theater in Prague. Instead of a bed, Hosnedlová has installed a sculptural changing area with wispy, transparent curtains. This gesture merges what happens backstage with the theatrical design of a play, inviting the audience to imagine the intimate and unseen moments that happen just off stage.
Her textured, baby pink walls also act as armatures for detailed embroideries of women in different stages of dress. Each are thickly bordered with frames that appear like endlessly looping braids that imitate the idea of getting ready or preparing for a night onstage. You can view more of Hosnedlová installations and embroideries on her Instagram.
In order to spread as widely as possible, some varieties of seeds will grow sharp thorns and burs. These sharp points allow the seeds to attach themselves to unsuspecting animals or humans unnoticed, and has earned them the moniker of “hitchhiker plants.” Photographer Dillon Marsh (previously here and here) is accustomed to these seeds hitching a ride on his shoes or clothes during photo excursions through tall grasses of his home in South Africa. Curious about the details hidden beyond their sharp edges, Marsh began to take macro photographs of these natural objects which reveal the often unnoticed resemblance to faces or skulls.
To create such detailed photographs Marsh set up a tiny photo studio. “After carefully lighting the seeds, I then photographed them using a macro lens which allows me to zoom in but leaves me with a very narrow depth of field,” Marsh explains to Colossal. “To overcome this, I take several photos of each seed, incrementally focussing along its entire depth. I then stack the images together in Photoshop in order to create one fully detailed image.”
Marsh is currently adding works to his series Counting the Costs, in which the photographer digitally embeds spheres of melting glaciers amongst city life in India, and soon other parts of the world. You can view more of his projects on Instagram and Behance.
Baltimore-based artists Jessie Unterhalter and Katey Truhn, known as Jessie and Katey, started creating murals because of the sheer accessibility of public art. The pair have always created work with a big visual impact, but as their designs grew they began to consider the possibility of working on the ground in addition to large-scale walls. Their site-specific floor works combine inspirations from both textiles and board games to create interactive walkways that encourage play and exploration. Jessie and Katey explain to Colossal that “the compositions are inspired by the viewer and how they might travel through the work. It’s really fun watching little kids interact with the floor murals—they always know what to do.”
The math behind both textile design and quilting is an aspect that the pair must consider when painting their large-scale works, and have started to inform how the pair begins each piece’s early designs. “We approach our large-scale work a bit like screen printers, even though we don’t screen print,” the pair explains. “Our process of execution is very methodical and we tend to think in planes or layers. This is probably a result of having to develop concepts and adapt them to larger spaces in a short amount of time. It’s interesting that painting murals has informed how we paint murals.”
This summer Jessie and Katey are working with the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation in Baltimore to create a site-specific mural for the Foundation’s new community space. The artists will also be painting a piece in Sacramento in collaboration with Wide Open Walls and later this fall will be working on an immersive installation incorporating recycled materials at Baltimore’s Goucher College, a rare opportunity for the pair to work in three dimensions. You can view more of Jessie and Katey’s work on their website and Instagram.
This week, you’ve most likely seen larger-than-life balloon garments deflating across your Instagram feed. Despite watching time and time again, I don’t seem to get bored with observing the models effortlessly emerge from the top shortly before yanking the rubber object down around their shoulders or waist. The inflated clothing items were designed by Fredrik Tjærandsen, a Norwegian designer who recently won the L’Oreal Professionel Young Talent Award for his 2019 BFA fashion presentation at Central Saint Martins in London. Not only are the dresses performative, they are also rewearable. After the bubble has gone flat, it can either be reinflated or simply worn as a deflated dress.
Initially Tjærandsen wanted to study sculpture during his BFA. His pieces, which he refers to as “bubbles,” reflect this initial interest in sculpture, and additionally have a conceptually tie to his childhood. “I was inspired by my own early childhood memories. I wanted to recreate the fogginess and the ‘mist’ of the memories themselves,” Tjærandsen told Vogue. “The inflated bubbles are about being able to wear an unclear memory. When the bubble emerges onto the catwalk, it’s the dream. The deflation of the bubble visualizes the moment when we realize we have a consciousness.”
You can take a peek at more of Tjærandsen’s rubbery designs on Instagram.
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A moth, or maybe many, mutates through several different forms throughout the course of painter, filmmaker, and ceramist Allison Schulnik‘s 2019 short film MOTH. The work is somewhat haunting in its painted portrayal of a constantly evolving subject. It transforms into larvae, serpents, other brightly colored moths, and a human to the song Gnossienne No. 1 by Erik Satie, performed by Nedelle Torrisi. The film was inspired by a moth that hit Schulnik’s window, and is described as “wandering through the primal emotions of birth, motherhood, body, nature, metamorphosis, and dance.”
Each animated paper slide is hand-painted with gouache and the project took the Sky Valley, California-based artist over 14 months to make. MOTH is currently on view as a part of the group exhibition Suffering From Realness at MASS MoCA through January 1, 2020. You can see more work by Schulnik on Instagram and Vimeo.