Within Burkina Faso, West Africa is a circular 3 acre complex of intricately embellished earthen architecture known as the village of Tiebele. It is here that the community enlivens the earthen walls of their village by annually adorning them with traditional African patterns. To them the intricate designs have a vast history while an outsider can appreciate them for their geometric splendor and simplicity. The story of this small village brings to mind local community art projects and their worth. An entire community transforming their environment with artistic practices is a testament to the unifying power of creativity and tradition.(via)
Some works of art look so wonderfully tactile that you’re drawn to want to touch them. Such is the case of Séance by American artist Sheila Hicks. The larger-than-life installation features huge tufts of colorful fabric stacked on top of one another. It was recently presented by Demisch Danant at Design Miami/Basel’s Design at Large Program.
A black-painted curved wall is covered with giant splotches of vibrantly colored wool, linen, and cotton. Crafting them utilized a processes that originates as pure powdered pigment and is later combined with a binding agent that creates a pliable fiber. This process is symbolically thought of as translating color into 3D form which is then repeated again and again for the purpose of Hick’s installation.
The multi-faceted Séance features a suspended column and a “color table” in addition to the things against the wall. A waterfall of individual strands pour from the ceiling onto a stack of blobs below them, carrying a powerful visual. The color table encourages viewers to create color combinations based on their own associations. When they’re done, they can share and trade them with other participants and piece together a unique narrative. (via designboom)
Julian Glander lives and works in New York.Take one look at the front page of his wild and wacky website and his exuberant mission will be clear. Glander’s quirky illustrations are an absolute blast as they wiggle about the computer screen (the majority of his work are moving .gifs). It’s refreshing to see a body of work that doesn’t take itself too seriously and is first and foremost, fun!
Anouk Mercier’s work centers around the notion of escapism through the fabrication of narrative. Relying on the nostalgia of Romanticism and mythology to depict melancholic worlds and characters, her drawings celebrate both the power of the imagination to escape the quotidian and the mundane, whilst also exploring the mysterious, the abysmal and the uncanny that often lurks behind idylls.
Presented as illustrations of an enigmatic tale, her drawings range from tenebrous Animalia portraits, to haunting landscapes and mysterious ‘mini-worlds’, laced with decorative flora. The artist invites viewers to engage with this fantastical world, whilst yet creating the illusion that it can only be observed through a distancing window. Positioning the viewer in doing so, as an entranced voyeur, enticed into formulating a narrative based on the visual fragments presented.
Gil Batle is an American artist who spent over 20 years in Californian prisons for fraud and forgery. He endured some of the state’s most infamous facilities, including San Quentin, Chuckawalla, and Jamestown, living in racially segregated conditions under the constant threat of gang violence. During that time, Gil’s astounding ability to draw and tattoo with extreme precision gave him an esteemed reputation among the inmates, thus protecting him from harm and intimidation.
In an exhibition titled “Hatched in Prison,” which will be featured at the Ricco/Maresca gallery in New York from November 5th–January 9th, 2016, Batle presents viewers with a fascinating, sensitive, and detailed glimpse into the hardship and abuse endured in prison by carving these experiences onto the surfaces of ostrich eggs. Brutal images of isolation, beatings from security guards, and chain gangs cover the delicate, ivory-colored surfaces. Barbed wire, gang symbols, and shivs create an ominous symmetry.
In this unique medium, Batle reveals scenes that are usually hidden away from the public eye. There is a special significance to carving trauma onto an egg—an object which Ricco/Maresca’s press release describes as “nature’s most perfect creation and manifestation of life and birth” (Source); Batle’s creations seem to convey vulnerability as well as a sense of hope, renewal, and redemption.
Visit Ricco/Maresca to learn more.
I’m sure most of us have a love of chocolate and confectionery – sometimes indulging ourselves a little, and sometimes we binge, purge and gorge our way to diabetes with the sweet stuff. Embroidery artist Charlotte Bailey of Hanging By A Thread has taken her obsession to a healthier place. Instead of eating the chocolate and candy bars, she has been reworking the logos and house hold brand names of the sweets with colorful, eye-catching embroidery thread. Bailey ever-so-slightly changes the wording of the labels to allude to the darker side of the confectionery industry.
Hershey’s is now changed to Hurtey’s; Milky Bar to Guilty Bar; Oreo to Ohno; Cadbury to Calories. The embroidered pieces are loaded with emotionally charged messages that remind us of the seriousness of an eating disorder. Bailey taps into the thought processes that pass through people’s heads when thinking of buying their next candy fix.
She points out the scary subtext that is always there with any kind of confectionery, or actually with any commodity that is superfluous to our needs. We are always being told to buy more; need more. Whether it’s the style of the attractive packaging and optimistic-looking font, or the level of sugar content in the product, we are always left wanting more.
And if you want more of Bailey’s clever designs, the collection of embroideries are on display at Menier Gallery in London from 28th July – 2nd August 2015.
“My motifs are derived from feelings of gentleness and harshness, fear, limitless expansion experienced through contact with nature, images from music, ethnic conflict, the heart affected by joy and anger, and prayer.” (via This Is Colossal)
Estonian artist Eiko Ojala expertly creates illustrations using paper. His complex collage pieces are at the same time simple in execution. His background as an illustrator is clear in each of these pieces. Ojala is able to communicate a considerable story with minimal imagery and medium. Whether a series of trees interacting through different seasons, or portraits, Ojala weaves interesting narratives using simple poignant scenes.