Amos Chapple Documents Life In The Coldest Village On Earth

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It might be winter where you live, but the cold that you experience probably doesn’t compare to this. New Zealand-based photographer Amos Chapple went on a two-day journey from Yakutsk, the coldest major city on Earth to Oymyakon, the coldest village on Earth. Oymyakon’s lowest recorded temperature is -67.7°C (-90°F) in 1933 while the average for January is -50°C (-60°F). Despite the intense weather, people have forged homes and lives in these places, and Chapple captures them in an unfiltered, documentary-style way. Just looking at them will send chills up your spine.

Residents of this extreme climate adapted to these conditions with little indoor plumbing. Vehicles that are outside heated garages must keep running to avoid freezing. And, their subsistence is meat because the ground is too cold to grow crops.

Chapple gives us some idea of just what this cold felt like, and he tells Weather.com “I was wearing thin trousers when I first stepped outside into – 47 °C (-52°F). I remember feeling like the cold was physically gripping my legs, the other surprise was that occasionally my saliva would freeze into needles that would prick my lips.” And for him, the hardest part of the experience was not the cold, but that his camera’s focus would freeze into place! (via Bored Panda)

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Improve Your Sexting With NSFW Emojis

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If you’ve ever wanted to sext using regular emojis, you might’ve found this prospect difficult. Well, sexting in pictures got way easier thanks to the new Flirtmoji, a visual language designed to empower people of all sexualities to communicate their desires, concerns, and of course, flirtations. The often NSFW icons include anatomically accurate genitalia, whips, chains, fuzzy handcuffs, and even some sexually-suggestive fruit. There are also special, specific collections like BDSMS, Snow Bunny (holiday appropriate), and Safe Sext.

Flirtmoji was created by a group of designers and developers whose mission is to give people playful, inclusive, and functional sex emoji. In an interview with The Verge, artist Katy McCarthy explains: “I wanted the Flirtmoji to be sexy,” she said. “Even if it’s not my thing, necessarily … it’s someone else’s thing and it’s sexy to them.”

Regular emojis are criticized for their lack of diversity, and McCarthy and her friends were cognisant of that when designing. “My friends and I are not accurately represented in emoji,” she said, “and it’s frustrating. And particularly with sex, we felt that it was so crucial that everyone feel sexually represented.”

You won’t find these emojis in the app store. Instead, via their website, Flirtmoji has a selection of free emojis as well as themed collections for $.99 each. So, whether you’re an avid sexter or not, it’s worth checking out their icons simply from a design perspective. They show just how much can be said with relatively little visual information.

Nowadays, as more and more people express sexual desires through non-verbal, electronic communication, Flirtmoji is valuable. It’s a straight-forward, explicit, and fun way to have clear communication about this important topic. (Via Bustle and The Verge)

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Eleanor Davies’ Giant Pom Pom Made With Over 200 Colors Is On Steroids

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In artist Eleanor Davies’ piece titled Over 200 Beautiful Colors, she crafts a traditional yarn pom pom (like something you’d see on a beanie), but on steroids. Using wool, newspaper, and rope, Davies wraps donut-shaped discs with yarn and stacks them on top of one another. They become a mountain of wound wool, and finally she cuts the edges of every disc. This releases the fibers around the cardboard, and they form a larger-than-life ball of fringe.

The result of this tedious effort is something that you want to touch and maybe even hug. And, that’s Davies’ intention. She wants the viewer to desire an interaction with it. But, at the same time, she also wants to you to feel some sort of repulsion to it. Even though it’s a magnificent and incredible piece, you compare it to what other smaller, more perky-looking pom poms look like. This, in all its glory, droops as gravity has got the best of it. “The oscillation between attraction and repulsion is experienced through the disruption of taste values,” Davies writes in an artist statement. “Sculptures seek attention and flaunt themselves in such a way that they ask for it.”

The slow and meticulous construction of Over 200 Beautiful Colors is akin to a beautiful regime. Davies goes on to say:

In appropriating the sculpting techniques of hairdressing; extensions and highlights are added to slowly modify and enhance a sculpture’s look. The compulsive desire to reconfigure, reinvent, re-cut and re-colour is due to the satisfaction gained through succumbing to the lure of the surface. The process of overworking the sculptural surface is self indulgent and my practice embraces and revels in this.

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Alexia Mosby Maps Out The Thoughts Of An Anxious Mind In Masking Tape

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In the site-specific installation Anxiety Map, designer Alexia Mosby documents an overactive mind’s anxious thoughts. It’s a personal map, and one that boldly displays the many things that run through your head as you’re leaving your home. Over the course of two flights of stairs, you’re doubting that the stove was turned off or the door was locked. After making your way to the bottom of the steps, you come to the conclusion that you have to go back and check.

Anxiety Map uses stairs, walls, and even railings to transmit her text in black masking tape. At certain angles letters look distorted, and it’s only when you approach them from very specific ways that they appear correct. Otherwise, they are stretched, shortened, and sometimes incomprehensible – not dissimilar to the thoughts in our head.

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Scott Hazard’s Torn Paper Garden Installation Is A New Spin On Nature

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Scott Hazard ( featured here previously) is a North Carolina-based artist whose torn-paper landscapes engulf an entire gallery space. Titled Silent Geography, it’s currently site-specific installation at Mixed Greens gallery (in collaboration with Projective City) in New York that covers the floor with paper structures and punctuated with masses of text. These areas of words are meant to turn the space into a garden, meaning that it’s a cultivated and enclosed area that’s set apart (but close to) the wilderness.

From a distance, it’s not clear what Hazard’s soft, inviting installation is made from. It’s only upon closer inspection that you see incredible, carefully-torn sheets of paper and small details like block-printed letters. Silent Geography is meant to evoke the feel of nature but speak to those that live in cities. Mixed Greens writes:

Yet here the wilderness is not exactly that of nature but rather the din of flowing information, language, and symbol that surrounds most urban-dwellers on a daily basis. Into this flow Hazard creates a momentary pause, an immersive space of rest in which language is once again ordered and reduced to its simplest designative function.

Silent Georgraphy is on view until January 10, 2015.

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Rachel Sugg’s Exquisite Illustrations Conjure Beauty And Intrigue

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Rachel Suggs is a Baltimore-based illustrator whose soft mixture of water-based media and (sometimes) pencil conjure both beauty and intrigue. Her colorful-yet-desaturated compositions, often fantastical,  feature people whose lives are intimately tied to nature. Tall trees, weeping branches, and florals are both background decor as well as the main characters in her illustrations.

Symbols and metaphors are prominently featured in Sugg’s works. We aren’t always given a clear sense of where a person or thing is, but based on the environment surrounding them, we can infer the emotions and motivation behind the subjects in her illustrations. Snakes and serpents show up in her work, which could communicate danger. Sometimes, we see birds and bugs, which, depending on what they are, could mean a metamorphosis or rebirth.

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Christo Dagorov’s Drawings Transform Lips Into Surreal Landscapes

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Swiss artist and illustrator Christo Dagorov’s series Lips features surreal drawings of – you guessed it – human lips. Although they mimic the shape, Dagorov transforms them with textures that you wouldn’t see on someone’s face. The artist uses pencil to create a forest, prison, and even a group of naked bodies.

If the series wasn’t titled Lips, there’s a chance you might not realize that they are the subject of Dagorov’s drawings. He covers their supple surface with his own imagination and effectively turns them into tiny landscapes with short, narrative tales. But, because know they are intended as lips, it adds another layer of intrigue. These images represent a story that’s being told and a visual way to signify words coming off lips. (Via Colossal)

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Kathy Klein’s Intricate, Multi-Textured Floral Mandalas

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Kathy Klein is a devout lover of plants, and she translates this admiration into a series of natural mandalas. They are called danmalas, which means “the giver of flowers” in vedic sanskrit. The colorful arrangements are comprised of different blooms, leaves, and even some vegetables such as peppers. She layers a variety of textures and shapes into circular patterns that converge in the center.

Klein describes how she crafts these pieces, and it’s about around being in the right state of mind. First, she situates herself in a meditative devotional space. Next, she gathers flowers and other natural objects while her mind continues to be still. She finds inspiration from the golden sound that resides in silence. “These offerings are reflections of the inexpressible, a gesture which points towards life’s abundance, an unspoken verse of Love,” Klein writes. “The danmalas remind us all to listen to the unheard voice of nature, creation, and the eternal mystery.”

If you too are a plant lover (or mandala lover), Klein has many, many more danmalas on her website. (Via Faith is Torment)

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