New Zealand based sculptor Neil Dawson constructs sculptures made from aluminum and stainless steel, creating geometric shapes that appear to floating mid-air or suspended by nearly invisible reinforcements. Some of them look like simple illustrations, drawn in the air, while others are more complex constructions. Dawson often suspends his weightless work in civic spaces and skyscapes, creating gravity-defying, airy illusions.
“There’s something sanctified about a gallery environment because the works are physically and visually static,” Dawson says. “With public sculpture there’s a real dynamism because it’s constantly changing with the light and the elements. The majority of my work has more holes in it than substance – it’s about looking through things, not just at things. There’s always an element of surprise,” he says, noting the appearance of his sculptures changes day to day, and that the experience is unique to each viewer. “When art is frozen in a gallery, it loses those possibilities.” (via juxtapoz)
Laurent Gongora creates interventions in nature, and this is his biggest stunt yet. The artist made 24 metal plates and attached them to the façade of a waterfall, the Cascade de Vaucoux in France, to redirect its flow. The name of the project is Les Cascadeurs, which means stuntman in French, and also references cascades, which can mean waterfall. It looks like a much more majestic plinko (that game in The Price is Right where you drop a chip and try to land it in the $10,000 slot). In a video you can see on Gongora’s website, the power of the waterfall is accentuated by the installations as they waver back and forth under the bombardment of water. Gongora’s aesthetic gives the piece even greater impact, as its simplicity allows you to wonder about the logistics of mounting such a piece.
Another artwork that acts similarly to Les Cascadeurs is Le Diamant Noir, where Gongora places a black diamond in the middle of a forest in Pays de Condé, France. The land is a heritage site which used to be a coal mining bassin, and so the diamond represents the interaction between the natural landscape and the mining enterprise. The black diamond was installed over a tree, but the material is a metal with holes all over. Slowly the tree grows out from under the diamond and will theoretically overtake the structure. It is a balance between nature and human intervention, and Gongora demonstrates that each may have an effect on the other. (Via My Modern Met)
Brooklyn-based artist Matt Reilly of Japanther skateboards on a canvas-covered mini ramp in order to create loosely colored paintings. With just a handful of simple tools: a skateboard, some paint-dipped sponges and a plain canvas, Reilly was able to create his abstract-looking artworks by skating back-and-forth over the sheet.
The setting for the “Wall Ride” was installed at the Mana Contemporary in Jersey City. A white canvas was tacked to the surface of a half-pipe. Using saturated sponges attached to the wheels, Reilly colored the white sheet in vibrant shades of blue, red and brown. After finishing one artwork, the canvas would be replaced and the process would start all over again.
Distinct in texture and color, Reilly’s works have been titled to resemble Jackson Pollock’s and Aaron Young’s abstract art. Apart from the end result, artist’s live performance is titled to be a big part of the whole experience. Watching the mesmerizing process of an artwork unfolding puts the viewer into a creative catharsis. Reilly’s “skate-paintings” can be purchased on Artsy platform. (via designboom)
If the Beatles were right and all you need is love, I’ll take Morag Myerscough and Luke Morgan’s version thank you very much. Built for the Festival of Love held in Southbank Centre, London (June 28 – August 31, 2014), The Temple of Agape is a visual feast. Neon colors, geometric patterns, and bold typography combine to make love a vibrant, exciting place to be.
The structures are inspired by those encountered by Myerscough in India and elsewhere in Asia where bamboo is used extensively for scaffolding as well as the Watts Towers in LA. The vibrant colours and handpainted lettering are similarly inspired.
Much of the success of the design is due to the restraint shown by Myerscough and Morgan, which may seem counterintuitive when looking at the riotous structure. Look closer, though, and you’ll see that there is one typeface and one type treatment. The color palette is strictly controlled, a neon rainbow, plus pink, black, and white. All of the shapes are simple and geometric; even the counters of the letters are removed, streamlining the shapes of the letters. Minimizing the design elements allows the installation to be ebullient but not overwhelming.
The Festival celebrates the legalization of Same Sex Couple Act by choosing seven Greek words describing love. Myerscough and Morgan’s were given Agape, a spiritual, selfless love; the love of humanity. Their temple represents the power of love to conquer hate.
“The Temple stands proud like a peacock with its giant Martin Luther King quote, expressing the power of love to the world,” say Myerscough and Morgan. “Inside its heart is calm and dappled with light for contemplating complex emotions, a place that can transform with Love expressed within.”
This is a temporary construction, which is a shame. The world could use more love, especially when it’s executed so beautifully. (Via Creative Review) Photos by Gareth Gardner.
Ceramic artist Paul Cummins and stage designer Tom Piper collaborate to create a stunning installation commemorating the centennial of the First World War. A scarlet sea of 888,246 ceramic red poppies will be “planted” around the Tower of London. Titled “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red”, the installation pays tribute to soldiers who perished during the war.
For the past few weeks, volunteers have been carefully placing the flowers all around the famous dry moat around the Tower. Poppies burst through one of the windows and then flow loosely, forming an arch over the footbridge to the castle. Each poppy represents a soldier from the United Kingdom and its colonies who was killed during WWI. Cummings says he was inspired by a line in the will of a soldier from Derbyshire.
“I don’t know his name or where he was buried or anything about him. But this line he wrote, when everyone he knew was dead and everywhere around him was covered in blood, jumped out at me: ‘The blood-swept lands and seas of red, where angels fear to tread.’ I believe he meant the angels to refer to his children.”
Poppy is considered a flower of remembrance in Britain. The reason is because most of the soldiers died fighting in the trenches in the poppy fields of Flanders.
The blooming field will continue to grow throughout the summer. The final flower will be symbolically planted on November 11th, Armistice Day. The ceramic blossoms are for sale for £25 ($42) each. 10 percent of the proceeds go to benefit six different charities. You can find out more about the project by following the #TowerPoppies hashtag on Twitter. (via Colossal)
Kimchi and Chips is a design studio that creates 3-D installations using light in a variety of ways. Their most recent project is Light Barrier, where they project morphing shapes like circles and pyramids on mist. Their aim is to “add to the visual language of space and light” which they deliver. The shapes appear and disappear slowly, fading away into each other in time to sounds. It’s mesmerizing to watch, and you’re conscious that this is truly something you would never be able to see or possibly even envision without the advanced technologies we have today.
In another of their projects, Lunar Surface, they create orbs of light that look like moons. The moons are imposed on photographs of industrial room (maybe within the Kimchi and Chips studio?) so it looks as if they exist within those spaces. The moon shapes are created using an interesting approach. A sheet is set up with fans on it so it will move. A projection of the circumference of a circle is set up on the sheet, and a sensor picks up the movement of the sheet so that they create the shape of the moons. Once again, the shapes create a new visual language. They seem like jellyfish orbs floating in air. (Via Artlog)
The Birth of Baby X, 2012 digital video, color, sound 4 minutes 30 seconds
Marni Kotak, “Surviving 6 Karpas (Beth Israel Psych Ward)”, 2014, photographic plaque, 40 x 24 inches (detail)
All the Meds I Took
Marni Kotak is off her meds. At least, she’s aiming for that. Prescribed a potent mixture of psychotropic medications in 2012 for her port-partum depression, Kotak’s latest work of performance art, “Marni Kotak: Mad Meds,” features her attempt to wean herself off medication.
Kotak’s 2011 work, “The Birth of Baby X,” was the literal progenitor of “Mad Meds,” culminating in the birth of Kotak’s son Ajax in front of an audience in the gallery space. This controversial exhibition was meant to “convey the authentic experience of [her] life as it is being lived, simultaneously engaging with audience members who become active participants in the actual events unfolding,” Kotak says. “The Birth of Baby X” was followed up by “Raising Baby X” (2011-ongoing), “Postpartum Depression” (2012), “Raising Baby X: The First Year” (2012), “Ajax’s First Birthday Party” (2012), “Raising Baby X: Playtime!” (2013), “Raising Baby X: Family Jam Session” (2013), and “Raising Baby X: Little Brother” (2012-ongoing). Is involving her son in her performances from literally the moment of his birth exploitive? What will it be like for Ajax when he’s old enough to realize that his childhood has been a public spectacle in the name of art?
“Mad Meds” does not involve other people in the performance, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not without its own complex issues.
The 6-week durational performance exhibition and installation finds Kotak addressing her personal struggles with her own mind, the US medical system, and the pharmaceutical industry as she attempts to withdraw from psychiatric medicines prescribed as follow-up treatment for post-partum depression more than two and a half years ago. (Source)
Depression can be agonizing; depression after childbirth can be especially isolating in its opposition to the socially acceptable construct of happy new mommy. Of course, Kotak is completely within her rights to wean herself from her medications if she feels that they’re not working correctly, or if the side-effects have become too overwhelming, or if she just wants to. Naming the 10-foot trophy in the work “Med-free and Happy,” though, has implications about psych meds and depression that go far beyond her performance. If Marni Kotak is able to publicly stop taking psychiatric medication as a work of art, that would be a personal act that she has chosen to share, as she did the literal moment of her son’s birth. If Marni Kotak is using her art to suggest that it is some kind of achievement to stop taking meds, the many, many people who are thankful every day that they are functioning and whole and able to live their lives because of the medication they take may have a different point of view.
Latest installation by Montreal-based media and entertainment studio Moment Factory invites visitors to explore the illuminated paths of an enchanted forest in Québec, Canada. Foresta Lumina, a 2 km long trail, meanders through the Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook full of colorful light installations, visual projections and chilling sound effects.
According to the creative studio, Foresta Lumina strives to reveal park’s natural beauties and mysteries. Along the nocturnal stroll through the forest, visitors are acquainted with the region’s fictitious heritage and forest mythology: fairies, spirits and other bewitched mythical creatures. “It’s all about goosebumps,” says Gabriel Pontbriand of Moment Factory.
The multisensory experience is achieved through a set of skillful arrangements. Colorful lighting compositions turn the forest into a glistening canvas, whereas video mapping brings natural elements to life. Dynamic visual projections accompanied by ethereal soundtrack escort visitors into the mystical world of fantasy.
The project has already become a major tourist attraction with an average of 500 to 1,000 visitors every night. Foresta Lumina is open to public until October 11th. (via designboom)