Photography #birds Minimal Portraits by Luke Stephenson Frame the Elegant Plumage of Show Birds June 24, 2022 Grace Ebert Spereo Starling (2019). All images © Luke Stephenson, shared with permission
For the better part of a decade, U.K.-born, Stockholm-based photographer Luke Stephenson has been fascinated by show birds, their impeccably groomed feathers, and undeniably unique personalities. Whether centering on a white-eyed Zosterop or confrontational Spereo Starling, his portraits are minimal with monochromatic backdrops that accentuate the distinct colors and patterns of each plume.
The ongoing series, titled An Incomplete Dictionary of Show Birds, originated with Stephenson wanting to photograph budgies but was intrigued by other species when he met some of his future subjects and their owners. He then designed a portable, avian-sized studio with lighting and a slot for swapping backdrops. Most of his subjects gravitate toward the wooden perch, he says, where they la..

 Craft Design History #architecture #Japan #mosaics #museums #tile An Astonishing Array of Ceramic Mosaic Tiles Comprise a Japanese Museum’s Historical Collection June 24, 2022 Kate Mothes Image © Ryota Murase. All images courtesy of the Mosaic Tile Museum, shared with permission
In the Gifu Prefecture of Japan, a nucleus of creativity blossomed in Kasahara Town, Tajimi City, more than a millennium ago. Known for its history of ceramic production, the region celebrates its distinctive heritage with a spring and autumn festival, a ceramics-themed park, and pottery shops that teach visitors the tradition. Among its newest attractions, set in a rolling green, the Mosaic Tile Museum Tajimi focuses on a more recent aspect of the ceramics industry.
Following World War II, reconstruction efforts required building materials, and tiles were suddenly in high demand. In its heyday in the mid-1900s, Kasahara Town had more than 100 tile factories, and the delicate pieces were st..

 Design Music #instruments #sound #video Extravagant Sound Installations by Love Hultén Use Custom Synthesizers and Visualizers to Create Elaborate Audiovisual Mashups June 23, 2022 Grace Ebert
Swedish audiovisual artist and woodworker Love Hultén is known for his extravagant and unconventional sound installations that fall at the intersection of music, art, and design. Whether an homage to Nintendo, Pacman, or Simone Giertz’s chattering mouths, the custom synthesizers are elaborate electronic instruments with broad audio capabilities and often, a unique MIDI visualizer that responds in real-time: play the keyboard of “NES-SY37,” for example, and a rendering evocative of a vintage video game will appear on a tiny LCD screen. In the case of “The Doodlestation,” a chord might prompt a cartoon-like figure to vomit an endless pastel rainbow.
Visually elegant and structurally complex, Hultén’s designs take about ten weeks to complete. He tells Colossal that he is currently..

 Art Photography #clothing #portraits #Vietnam An Ethereal Daily Portrait Series by Chiron Duong Captures the Vietnamese Tradition of Ao Dai June 23, 2022 Gabrielle Lawrence 208. All images © Chiron Duong, shared with permission
Softness is often mistaken for weakness, and simplicity for lack, but Chiron Duong’s 365 Days of Ao Dai series holds the history of this Vietnamese tradition in full texture.
According to Duong, “Vietnamese Ao Dai is not only a kind of national costume but also contains a rich history, cultural traditions, aesthetic conceptions, national consciousness, and spirit of the Vietnamese people.” The garment’s capacity to “contain many memories” is most obviously captured by multi-bodied portraits, such as photos from days 183 and 208 that indicate unfolding stories. There’s also a ghost-like vapor resting upon each of these works that not only captures the grace of the gown but also how it embraces the body. In each photo, there is a presence that li..

 Craft Science #climate crisis #data #knitting #tapestry Interview: A Conversation with The Tempestry Project Delves Into the Importance of Knitting Tangible Records of Climate Data June 23, 2022 Grace Ebert Yosemite National Park, 1916 on left, through 2016 on right, Tempestries by Niki Tucci, photo by Stephanie Panlasigui
Even in the wake of major weather events like the unprecedented flooding that closed Yellowstone National Park for the first time in decades last week, it can be difficult to grasp the magnitude of the climate crisis. The Tempestry Project has been striving to make such large-scale shifts more accessible and relatable through data-rich tapestries, which founders Asy Connelly and Emily McNeil discuss in a new interview supported by Colossal Members.
People don’t have to come at it specifically as “this is activism,” but people can come at it tangentially. Once they see the climate history that’s happening right in their backyards, it dawns on them t..

 Art #birds #paper #piñatas #portraits #sculpture Paper Show: A Group Exhibition Highlights 14 Artists Exploring the Vast Potential of Paper June 22, 2022 Grace Ebert Julia Ibbini. All images courtesy of Heron Arts, shared with permission
One of the most reliable communication materials for centuries, paper historically has served as a vessel, a container for notes or the foundation of an artwork. An upcoming group exhibition at Heron Arts, though, focuses on the humble medium itself and highlights 14 contemporary artists expanding its creative potential. Paper Show features an array of styles, structures, and techniques from the whimsical mobiles of Yuko Nishikawa and Roberto Benavidez’s piñatas to Julia Ibbini’s laser-cut motifs and typographic messages from Judith + Rolfe. Opening July 9, the exhibition will be up through August at the San Francisco gallery. You also might enjoy this book that looks at the artists defining the medium.
Yuko Nishikawa
Pippa Dyrlaga
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 Art #murals #public art #street art Awash in Color, Alice Pasquini’s Murals Exude Hope and Affection June 22, 2022 Grace Ebert Toronto. All images © Alice Pasquini, shared with permission
For Alice Pasquini, painting outside among pedestrians, cars, and the milieu of local life is an inherent component of her practice. The artist begins each mural by studying the intended wall and its physical qualities. Material, paint color, and various markings and damages offer indications about the area’s history and people, she says, and form a well-worn, culturally situated canvas. She then renders large-scale pieces of affectionate couples, children, and figures with extraordinarily kind and welcoming faces, expressions that contrast the largely subversive and politically charged messages synonymous with street art.
“I speak about human emotion and the relationships between people,” she tells Colossal. “That is what influences me more. Walls around the world were a way to get o..

 Art #bronze #colonialism #mythology #nature #sculpture Wangechi Mutu’s Sculptures in Bronze Populate Storm King Art Center with Mythical Beings June 22, 2022 Grace Ebert “In Two Canoe” (2022). All images courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery, by David Regen, shared with permission
Storm King Art Center is situated on the ancestral homelands of the Lenape, a reference point that Kenyan-American artist Wangechi Mutu returns to for a new exhibition at the outdoor museum in Hudson Valley. Comprised of her signature sculptures of immense hybrid figures, the largely bronze body of work addresses settler-colonialism and the inextricable tie between people and the land.
Perpetually evoking nature and mythology to address historical issues of contemporary relevance, Mutu positions women as the most powerful, revering their physical form and highlighting their innate connection to ecology. The artist’s latest work, “In Two Canoe,” features a pair of figures with branch-..

 Design #architecture #landscape #preservation Reimagining an Iconic Midwestern Structure, Catie Newell Cuts a Slice of Sky Out of a Michigan Barn June 21, 2022 Kate Mothes All images © Catie Newell, shared with permission
In the township of Hume in rural eastern Michigan, an unassuming barn stands sentry in a wide-open field, partially covered in wild vines and grasses. Like many Midwestern farm structures, it’s weathered and has seen years of use and repairs, but one recent alteration makes it a standout among its counterparts: a careful cut through the middle of the structure reveals a slice of sky. Conceived by Detroit-based architect and educator Catie Newell, founder of Alibi Studio, the project reworks the iconic framework of an aging farm building to allow light through an unexpected aperture.
A team of more than two dozen construction professionals and volunteers collaborated on Secret Sky’s transformation, which is part of an ongoing series of barn interventio..

 Art #animals #sculpture #wood Notches, Scores, and Gouges Add Textured Pattern to Kokemusu Mokkou’s Carved Wooden Creatures June 21, 2022 Grace Ebert All images © Kokemusu Mokkou, shared with permission
Japanese artist Tomohiro Suzuki is behind the minimal wooden menagerie of Kyoto-based workshop Kokemusu Mokkou. From hunks of walnut, Suzuki carves miniature sculptures of wildlife like antelope, elephants, and bears, with innumerable divots and gouges forming the distinct textured patterns of their coats or skin. The artist tells Colossal that he focuses on achieving the natural shape of a hind leg or tusk first and uses the small impressions to add tactile depth to the creatures, which often appear mid-movement atop their metallic supports. Suzuki has a few pieces available from Eckepunkt, and you can follow his latest works on Instagram.

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