Seattle-based pie baker Lauren Ko (previously) has a multitude of non-edible inspirations that influence her creative pastry designs, including textile patterns, architecture, and string art. These elements are woven into her colorful, and often geometric, fruit pies and tarts topped with thin, undulating strips of apples, precisely placed pomegranate seeds, and triangles of radiating strawberries. Often Ko will color a portion of her dough with natural food dyes like beet butter to add even more color to the finished dessert. You can learn step-by-step instructions for how Ko creates her enticing sweets in this video made by Tasty, and follow the evolution of her pies on Instagram.
In 2016 the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed that 2019 would be the International Year of Indigenous Languages. The declaration’s goal was to raise awareness for disappearing language systems around the world, while mobilizing a coordinated global effort to help preserve them. At the time of the meeting it was estimated that 40% of the world’s 6,700 languages were at risk of disappearing. This threatens the history of the associated cultures, while also erasing thousands of years of knowledge systems valuable for protecting the environment, peace making, and national resource development.
The Endangered Alphabets Project is a Vermont-based nonprofit organization that supports endangered, minority, and indigenous cultures by helping to preserve their writing systems. For the past six years they have researched and compiled information on endangered languages, exhibited artwork using the cultures’ sayings, proverbs, and spiritual texts, and partnered with organizations to publish educational materials and games in endangered languages. Through their research they have also created an interactive website that tracks these languages across the globe. The Atlas of Endangered Alphabets is a clickable map compiled from languages across the world. Many of these scripts do not have an official status in their country, state, or province, and are not taught in government-funded schools.
“My goal is to include scripts from indigenous and minority cultures who are in danger of losing their sense of history, identity, and purpose and who are trying to protect, preserve and/or revive their writing system as a way of reconnecting to their past, their dignity, their sense of a way ahead,” explained Tim Brookes, the founder and president of the Endangered Alphabets Project. “A traditional script is a visual reminder of a people’s identity—as we can tell by the number of cultures that continue to use their script as an emblem (on printed invitations, on shop fronts, even on the national flag) long after most people have stopped using it for everyday purposes.”
As a general rule, the atlas is guided by Article 13 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which says: “Indigenous peoples have the right to revitalize, use, develop and transmit to future generations their histories, languages, oral traditions, philosophies, writing systems and literatures, and to designate and retain their own names for communities, places and persons.” The project is therefore not necessarily about the language, but about the people that speak and continue to carry these writing systems as tradition.
Artist Adele Renault (previously here and here) creates large-scale paintings of pigeons, highlighting the spectacular feather patterns and hues that might otherwise go unnoticed at the birds’ small scale. Recently the Belgian artist completed a mural of two grey and blue-toned pigeons for St+art India’s Lodhi Street Art Festival in Delhi. The bird on the right has its mouth agape, squawking at the one on the left from the other side of a window that peers into a courtyard. Programming for the festival runs through the end of March, 2019. You can view more of Renault’s large-scale paintings on her website and Instagram, and take a look at her Amsterdam-based space Unruly Gallery which she runs with collaborator Niels Shoe Meulman. (via Street Art News)
Italian sculptor Paola Grizi creates bronze sculptures of faces emerging from the tousled pages of books, often with an exposed hand that appears to gently push aside the pages. Some of the pieces are sculpted as traditional novels, while others are more abstract— bronze pieces of paper folded and stacked in cube-like formations. The enduring metal works are meant honor the physicality of printed materials, resources which are quickly being lost due to the ease and immediacy of technological devices. You can see more of Grizi’s literary sculptures on Instagram. (via My Modern Met)
Thomas Granseuer and Tomislav Topic, known as the art duo Quintessenz (previously), recently completed a new hanging fabric installation at CARME, an arts center located inside a former church in Brescia, Italy. Despite the numerous indoor and outdoor locations the pair have installed their signature semi-transparent fabrics, Carme Genesis is the first time they’ve worked within the architecture of a church. Due to the piece’s position at the center of the nave, guests can walk parallel to the hanging work, or cross directly underneath on the building’s first floor. Each perspective presents a new layering of colors, bringing a shifting dimensionality to the collection of flat, hanging textiles. Carme Genesis runs through March 3, 2019. You can see more of Quintessenz’s installations on their website and Instagram.
Conrad Jon Godly (previously) paints in thick, impasto strokes to form snow-capped peaks and mountain ranges in icy black, white, and blue. The textured formations on canvas have feathered edges that mimic the high altitude wind, a technique that makes you almost feel the subject’s arctic blast. The works are at once abstract and hyperreal. Blunt gestures of his paint knife obscure any sort of image at close viewing, and yet a pristine image of a mountain comes into view when one takes a few steps back.
Godly grew up in Davos, Switzerland amid the Swiss Alps, an environment that has become his muse. “My surroundings have a huge influence on me, artistically and personally,” he explains in the press release of his current exhibition To See is Not to Speak at JD Malat Gallery in London. “I don’t see myself as a landscape painter, I am interested in capturing the mood and feeling of light, or the reflection of the moon on snow.”
Godly had a previous life as a photographer where he learned how to harness light and understand visual texture. These lessons he brings into his large-scale canvases, which evoke the moody experience of cloudy mountain ranges covered in fresh snow. Currently the artist lives between Switzerland and Japan. His work is currently being exhibited at the Zona Maco art fair in Mexico City with JD Malat Gallery until February 10, 2019, and his solo exhibition with the gallery runs through March 2, 2019. You can see more of Godly’s paintings on his website and Instagram.
In Becoming, a time-lapse film by Jan van IJken (previously), a single cell splits. Then it splits again, and again, and again, morphing and quivering as new quadrants continually appear and divide. The cell belongs to an alpine newt, and during most of its transition from a single cell zygote to hatched larva it looks remarkably like a sunny-side up egg. The film’s rapid timeline condenses four weeks of growth into six minutes, presenting a speedy and awe-inspiring glimpse at how we all begin.
“I wanted to capture the origin of life,”van IJken tells Colossal. “What is particularly interesting I think, is that the basics of embryonic development are the same for all animals, including us. I think the way we develop is a true miracle. In my film you can see individual cells move to the place where they belong in the embryo. How is this possible? It is all managed by a precise internal clockwork in each individual cell.”
Van IJken used time-lapse photography and video in combination with a trinocular microscope to precisely observe the details of the newt’s development. You can view more of his work, including a trailer for his upcoming film Facing Animals, on Vimeo.
Bologna-based Italian artist Nunzio Paci (previously) fills his artwork with images that evoke aspects of human knowledge dating back centuries, such as anatomy, botany, and natural medicine. In his works animals are illustrated with lush plants and flowers, elements which seem to grow and thrive straight from their core. Although a touch morbid, the pieces also have a sense of lightness—there is beauty that can be found in rebirth. This fall Paci will be Artist-in-Residence at Lingnan University in Hong Kong where he will teach a Studio Practice course and work on his own projects to prepare for a solo exhibition. You can see more of his anatomical illustrations and paintings on Instagram and Facebook.