Art

Air Sea Land: Okuda’s Largest Public Art Project Brings Colorful Sculptures to the Streets of Boston

October 19, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Seven towering sculptures comprised of brightly colored facets have recently landed on the streets of Boston, courtesy of Okuda San Miguel. The multi-disciplinary Spanish artist, best known for his colorful interventions in and on buildings around the world, installed the series of seven sculptures called Air Sea Land in Boston’s seaport corridor. Okuda’s creations range from eight to twelve feet tall, and include regional wildlife like deer and squirrels, while also integrating mythological elements like a scaly humanoid sea creature and a seagull with arms and legs. Air Sea Land which is Okuda’s largest public art project to date, was curated by Justkids. You can see more from Okuda on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Ornate Birds and Sea Creatures Spring to Life With Environmental Embellishments of Flowers and Foliage

October 19, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Artist Ellen Jewett (previously) continues to create sculptures of animals from the land and sea, crafting realistic depictions with a surreal edge. Each porcelain creature features elaborate elements that connect the animal back to its natural environment—such as green leaves that sprout from the wings of a black cockatoo, or tiny yellow fish that are found along the spines of her ornately patterned seahorses.

After she forms each sea turtle, octopus, or fish from porcelain, Jewett free-models a wire armature by hand and coats the piece in polymer. This addition allows her to connect detailed elements such as flowers and other fauna to the animals fins or claws. Her solo exhibition On Wilderness is on view at the Ottawa School of Art’s Main Gallery in Ontario, Canada through November 18, 2018. Her work is also being exhibited in the group exhibition Nature Imagined at the Wilding Museum of Art and Nature in Solvang, California through January 2019. You can learn more about her process by following her work on Instagram.

 

 



Art

A Whirling Porcelain Coral Reef Draws Attention to the Cost of Climate Change

October 19, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

"Confluence (Our Changing Seas V)" (2018), Glazed stoneware + porcelain, 846 x 570 x 50 cm, image by Amanda Brooks

“Confluence (Our Changing Seas V)” (2018), Glazed stoneware + porcelain, 846 x 570 x 50 cm, photograph by Amanda Brooks

The latest installation by ceramicist and ocean advocate Courtney Mattison (previously) is Confluence (Our Changing Seas V)a porcelain coral arrangement produced for the US Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia. The site-specific work features a vibrant cluster of coral structures at its center which turn stark white the further they are placed from the installation’s core. This shifting gradient references the rapid devastation caused to reefs as temperature levels rise and force corals to lose their colorful algae.

This installation is a celebration of Indonesia’s coral reefs, while also pinpointing the human-caused damage that infects the vibrant systems. “Corals, anemones, sponges and other reef-dwelling invertebrates coalesce into a cyclone-like spiral with colorful healthy corals at the eye of the storm, their tentacles and branches dancing in the current,” explains Mattison. “Toward the edges and tail of the swirling constellation, corals sicken and bleach, exposing their sterile white skeletons—a specter of what could be lost from climate change. Yet at its heart the reef remains healthy, resilient and harmonious.”

"Confluence (Our Changing Seas V)" detail, image by Amanda Brooks

“Confluence (Our Changing Seas V)” detail, image by Amanda Brooks

Indonesia is located at the heart of what is called the “Coral Triangle” or “Amazon of the Sea.” This environment is host to more invertebrate species than can be found anywhere else on the planet, in addition to thousands of species of fish which thrive in the rich ecosystem. Mattison hopes that her handmade constructions of the Coral Triangle’s diverse specimens produces an excitement in viewers while sparking an interest to protect the delicate balance found in Indonesia’s coral systems.

"Confluence (Our Changing Seas V)" detail, image by Courtney Mattison

“Confluence (Our Changing Seas V)” detail, image by Courtney Mattison

Mattison is exhibiting another recent installation titled Afterglow (Our Changing Seas VI) in the group show Endangered Species: Artists on the Frontline of Biodiversity, curated by Barbara Matilsky, at the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham, Washington through January 6, 2019. Mattison will travel to Bali at the end of October to unveil a 60-foot-long community-based coral installation she designed for the Coral Triangle Center in Sanur, Bali titled Semesta Terumbu Karang—Coral Universe. The work features over 2000 elements sculpted by a team of over 300 volunteers, coral reef conservationists, and Balinese artisans. You can see further conservation-based projects by Mattison on her website and Instagram.

"Confluence (Our Changing Seas V)" detail, image by Courtney Mattison

“Confluence (Our Changing Seas V)” detail, image by Courtney Mattison

“Afterglow (Our Changing Seas VI)” (2018), Glazed stoneware + porcelain, 230 x 260 x 50 cm

"Confluence (Our Changing Seas V)" detail, image by Courtney Mattison

“Confluence (Our Changing Seas V)” detail, image by Courtney Mattison

"Afterglow (Our Changing Seas VI)" (detail)

“Afterglow (Our Changing Seas VI)” (detail)

"Afterglow (Our Changing Seas VI)" (detail)

“Afterglow (Our Changing Seas VI)” (detail)

"Confluence (Our Changing Seas V)" (2018)

“Confluence (Our Changing Seas V)” (2018)

 

 



Colossal

Chain Reaction: An International Print and Illustration Show of Bicycle-Inspired Art

October 18, 2018

Colossal

As part of a unique collaboration with the Design Museum of Chicago, Colossal asked some of our favorite poster makers, illustrators, designers, and artists from around the world to make prints featuring bicycles. The international exhibition is in conjunction with the museum’s upcoming exhibition, Keep Moving: Designing Chicago’s Bicycle Culture.

Participating artists include Arna Miller (previously), Janice ChangAlex Senna (previously), Ovadia Benishu, Lisa Congdon, Fran Labuschagne, Jay Ryan, Eleni Debo, Mara PiccioneBrent Couchman, Mart Aire (previously), Daniel Jamie Williams, Vance Lump, Lydia Fu, JW and Melissa Buchanan, and Rafael Esquer (previously).

Prints will be available for purchase online in the Colossal Shop and at Design Museum Chicago’s Block 37 location, starting November 16, 2018. A portion of all proceeds will benefit Blackstone Bicycle Works, a local community bike shop and youth education program. If you’re in Chicago, join us for a free, all-ages opening party from 6 to 8pm on Friday, November 16th! Keep an eye on our event page and RSVP via Facebook for details.

 

 



Animation Design

Video Game Designers Show the Carefully Orchestrated Movements That Bring Their Stop Motion Characters to Life

October 18, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Vokabulantis is an episodic video game by author Morten Søndergaard, animator Johan Oettinger, and puppet animation studio Wired Fly. The team used stop motion to animate the two main characters—Kurt and Karla—which the player leads through a series of language-based puzzles. The intention of the interactive universe it to bring a tangibility to language, creating a space where users can interact with its form rather than merely read through static text on a screen.

The single player game is a mix between a point and click adventure and a puzzle-based platform, which allows the user to explore worlds while they complete brain teasers or tasks with the two main characters. The game was initially developed for PC, but may be adapted for console-based platforms or handheld devices down the line when it is released in 2019. You can follow updates regarding the release of the Kong Orange-produced game on Vokabulantis’s website, and take a look behind the making of the stop-motion game in the video below.

Vokabulantis's characters Kurt and Karla

Vokabulantis’s characters Kurt and Karla

 

 



Science

Spooky X-Rays Reveal the Bone Structures of Oregon Zoo Residents

October 18, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

As a seasonally appropriate topic for Halloween, the Oregon Zoo is posting a few of their favorite animal X-rays taken during routine health exams. Included in the mix is a branch-dwelling chameleon, open-beaked toucan, and a bat that appears to be caught mid-flight. The scans are a normal part of the check-ups at the zoo, and are used by animal experts as a helpful diagnostic tool to minimize anesthesia and provide faster results. You can follow more of the zoo’s spooky posts on Twitter.

 

 

 



Art

A Student Lost in the Easy Freedom of Youth Depicted in a Cross-Stitch Mural by Aheneah

October 17, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Ana Martins, who works as Aheneah, recently reflected on the relaxed freedom of youth and captured that feeling in a cross-stitched intervention on a wall in Vila Franca de Xira, Portugal. The work is along a popular route to a local school, and is comprised of over 2,300 screws and nearly 760 yards of yarn.

The 22-year-old artist isn’t far from the experience of transitioning from student to adult. Martins shares with Colossal, “Every day, for many years, thousands of kids pass by this wall while going from home to school and from school to home. Most of the time just floating in their thoughts, lost in space, time and routine. Until their paths have to change directions. This happened to me a few years ago.”

She graduated in 2017 with a degree in graphic design, and in her professional work explores the connections between digital and analogue mediums, seeking to  “deconstruct, decontextualize and transform a traditional technique into a modern graphic, connecting cultures and generations.” You can see more from Martins on Instagram and Facebook.