Posts By Laura Staugaitis

Interview: Magnhild Kennedy Shares the Story Behind her Lavish and Mysterious ‘Damselfrau’ Masks

Magnhild Kennedy, who works as ‘Damselfrau‘ (previously) crafts ornate wearable artworks using found, vintage, and modified fabrics, trims, and even recycled grocery packaging. The Norway-born, U.K.-based artist shares the behind the scenes process of sourcing and interpreting her raw materials into eye-catching, genre-defying masks with Colossal contributor Laura Staugaitis. Get to know Magnhild in our new Interview series for Colossal Members. Learn more about Membership and join here.

Aerial Embroidery Showcases the Hidden Patterns of Cultivated Farmland

Humble fields become abstracted artworks in thread paintings by Victoria Rose Richards. The artist uses a combination of tight, straight lines and lush French knots to emulate the rural patterning of closely-cropped fields divided by hedges and woods. Richards, who is 21 years old and based in South West Devon, U.K., draws inspiration from the natural beauty that surrounds her. “My art is influenced by my love of the environment and conservation, which I developed during my biology degree I completed this year,” Richards tells Colossal.

A lifelong artist who also manages chronic pain and Asperger’s syndrome, Richards landed on embroidery during college as a way to lift her spirits and engage her mind between classes and studying. “I pulled some nice blues and greens out of my grandmother’s old embroidery tin and had my first go at an embroidery landscape in October 2018,” Richards explains.

The artist is constantly learning new techniques to broaden her range of textures and patterns, finding community and inspiration through the global network of embroiderers who are connected through social media. You can follow along with Victoria Rose Richards’s thread paintings on Instagram.

 

 

Solar-Powered Chicken Caravan Keeps Farm Birds on the Move

Designed by Tom Gottelier and Bobby Petersen, who work together as Designers on Holiday, the Chicken Caravan is a solar-powered chicken coop. The lightweight, automated, mobile unit was created for The Ecology Center farm in San Juan Capistrano, California. Activated by solar sensors, the aluminum-clad cabin doors automatically open at sunrise to allow the hens out. The coop itself can be towed by a tractor to help fertilize new areas of the farm with the chickens’ manure—it also comes with a portable fence to keep the birds in the desired zone. Lastly, a solar battery keeps everything charged and ready. See more of Designers on Holiday’s innovative projects and explore their collaborative camp for designers on the company’s website. (via Inhabit)

Wildlife Intertwine in Finely Rendered Mythological Worlds by Lauren Marx

“Offerings” (2019), Pen, watercolor, ink, gel pen and colored pencil on paper. 26.75 x 42.5 inches

Sinuous, intertwined wildlife bridge worlds of the living and the dead in Lauren Marx’s intricate multi-media work. Twisting fox heads, disemboweled deer, and lambs bursting with flowers and birds are rendered with watercolor, ink, pen, and colored pencil. Marx often places her animal compositions on semi-abstract backgrounds, awash with grey tones that give a sense of weightlessness to the dense drawings by evoking fog or clouds.

The artist, who resides in her hometown of Saint Louis, Missouri, cites frequent trips to the Saint Louis Zoo, biology classes, and National Geographic television shows as cultivating her lifelong interest in animals. Her latest body of work debuts December 14, 2019, at Corey Helford Gallery. The show, titled Chimera, is an evolution from her previous pieces, combining multiple animals into each artwork to combine their symbolic meanings.

“From Our Flesh” diptych (2015), Pen, ink, colored pencil, graphite, and gel pen, 17.75 x 10 inches

Chimera further explores my concepts of fauna representations of emotions, personal mental health, family, and self,” Marx shares in a statement. “I am creating a mythological world, centered around North American flora and fauna, to better expresses my image of who I am, how I am perceived, my struggles with mental health, and to explore self-healing.”

Marx studied Fine Art at Webster University and draws inspiration from zoology, mythology, scientific illustration, and Northern Renaissance themes. The artist shares with Colossal that at this juncture in her career, she is looking to continue to challenge herself technically and conceptually, and that works in the Chimera show brought her practice to new levels in terms of scale and complexity.

See Chimera through January 18, 2020, at Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles, and explore more of Marx’s intricate illustrative artwork on Instagram. The artist also offers prints and stickers on Etsy.

“Honey” (2019) Pen, watercolor, ink gel pen, gouache and colored pencil on mixed media paper, 31 x 37.25 inches

“Self-inflicted” (2016), Pen, ink, graphite, colored pencil, and gel pen on paper, 20 x 20 inches

“Nested Fawn” (2019), Pen, watercolor, ink, gel pen, gouache, and colored pencil on mixed media paper, 25.75 x 40 inches

“The First” (2016), Pen, ink, graphite, colored pencil, and gel pen on paper, 20 x 24 inches

“Snake-Bird” (2019), Pen, watercolor, ink, gel pen and colored pencil on mixed media paper 20 x 38 inches

“The Second” (2016), Pen, ink, graphite, colored pencil, gel pen, and acrylic on paper, 20 x 24 inches

“Lovely” (2018), Pen, watercolor, ink, colored pencil, gel pen, and graphite on paper, 17.5 x 22 inches

8th Annual Light Festival Illuminates Amsterdam with Glowing Sculptural Installations

“Butterfly Effect” by Masamichi Shimada. All photographs, unless noted, © Janus van den Eijnden

This year’s Amsterdam Light Festival, running November 28, 2019 to January 19, 2020, lights up the Scandinavian city with illuminated art installations. The festival, now in its eighth year, attracts tourists and engages locals at a time when the city is cloaked in darkness for about sixteen hours each day. Visitors to the Light Festival use a phone app to guide themselves through Amsterdam’s city center, perusing twenty light works by artists from around the world. This year’s show theme was “DISRUPT!” and artists reflected the concept in pieces that ruminate on climate change, national history, technology, and more. See some of our favorites here, by Masamichi Shimada, UxU StudioSergey Kim and others. You can explore the full line-up and programming on the Amsterdam Light Festival website.

“Butterfly Effect” by Masamichi Shimada

“Neighborhood” by Sergey Kim

“Neighborhood” by Sergey Kim. Photograph courtesy of the artist

“Nacht Tekening” by Krijn de Koning 

“Big Bang” by UxU Studio

“Big Bang” by UxU Studio

“Order Disorder” by Lambert Kamps

“Order Disorder” by Lambert Kamps

“Atlantis” by Utskottet

“Surface Tension” by Tom Biddulph and Barbara Ryan

“Surface Tension” by Tom Biddulph and Barbara Ryan

‘The Bird & the Whale’ Tells a Short and Sweet Tale Using Paint-on-Glass Animation

An animated short film written and directed by Carol Freeman uses an old-fashioned technique called paint-on-glass to form each luminescent frame. At seven minutes long, The Bird & the Whale is comprised of 4,300 paintings created by a small team of female artists in Dublin, Ireland. The animated film tells the story of a young whale, struggling to find its voice, who finds a caged bird that is the sole survivor of a shipwreck. The Bird & the Whale has been lauded at festivals worldwide, including the Silver Screen Award for Best Animated Film at Cannes’ Young Director Awards. Freeman, who majored in animation at the National Film School of Ireland, also co-founded Paper Panther Productions. Watch the making-of inpthe video below and follow Paper Panther on Instagram.

Geometric Volumes and Humanoid Figures Shape-Shift in a New Animation by Guldies

Malleable sculptures formed from plasticine topple, bounce, and shape-shift between geometric volumes and humanoid figures in UTOPIA, a new stop motion animation. The minimalist short film is set on a plain aqua-toned background with a restricted clay color palette of white, pink, orange, and burgundy. UTOPIA’s tightly controlled aesthetic centers the viewer’s attention on the fast-moving shapes as they transform and interact with each other. The short was created by Alexander Unger, a Swedish animator who goes by Guldies (previously). Watch more animations from Unger on his YouTube channel and Instagram.

Fantastical Worlds Created with Dappled Brush Strokes by Illustrator James R. Eads

Illustrator James R. Eads (previously) incorporates elements of Impressionism and fantasy in his colorful landscapes. The Los Angeles-based artist builds imagined worlds with vibrant, short brush strokes, often featuring exotic birds, half-sunken boats, and swirling star-filled skies. Eads shares with Colossal that he is deeply connected to music, which consistently influences his work. His personal passion translates to client commissions, as he has created imagery for dozens of bands ranging from The Black Keys and Leon Bridges to Jerry Garcia and Iggy Pop.

“I’ve been really inspired by a lot of different things lately, including many worlds theory—the idea of multiple universes and timelines existing simultaneously,” Eads tells Colossal. “I’ve been working on a series of pastel paintings called Many, Many Paths that explores this idea through meandering paths in otherworldly gardens.” The artist shares that his most recent undertaking is a series called Cosma Visions, “which explores the idea of past lives and reincarnation reimagined on the traditional tarot. It takes the reader through the journey of the soul in the spirit plane after death.”

Eads also experiments with Virtual Reality artwork, an example of which you can see below, and runs a screen-printing studio in Los Angeles. He produces a range of limited edition prints and other buyable items that incorporate his colorful illustrations. Shop Eads’s online store and follow along with new work on Instagram.