Colorado based artist, Ashley Eliza Williams, creates paintings of geological phenomenons. At first glance, her images appear to be the findings of a microscope, or perhaps, the photographic documentation of some obscure landscape. Her paintings are vibrantly alien, yet convincingly recognizable. Through a “lifelong curiosity about the patterns and biological systems that organize the natural world” she has created a body of work that seems to exist between the realms of science fiction and genuine morphology.
Her choice of titles lift her paintings out of a solely biological and ecological fueled quandary and shift them into a metaphorical, self-reflective, meditative space. The series itself is titled Sentient, directly opening up the work to a channel of emotional conversation, each piece taking the sentiment a little further. For example; The Inner Balance of Things, which features a delicately faded pink rock floating through a soft clouded sky; The Appearance of Quiet Restraint, which focuses on a triumphant looking boulder with small, seemingly measly mountains in the background; or Maybe We Look Like This Inside, which displays a fleshy, internal-organ-esque looking rock hovering over an empty, gray landscape. These titles add a very honest, almost painfully personal aspect to the work, hinting that these pieces act as depictions of an internal space; it is as if she is allowing the viewer into her most personal contemplative thoughts. Through pairing each painting to titles such as these, Ashley Eliza Williams proves her work to be a genuine thoughtful reflection on being human. (Via Booooooom)
Kilian Rüthemann was born in 1979 in Bütschwil, St. Gallen, Switzerland. Kilian always engages with the given situation of an exhibition space. He investigates the architectural and spatial qualities and in a surprising manner and makes precise, generally minimal interventions into the existing structure. Pretty neat.
When Nashville native Kelly Kerrigan isn’t handcrafting her signature “tramp lamps” from scrap lingerie, she enjoys working with paint on canvas. The strange, yet storybook-like works she creates intrigue, maybe even provoke a little laughter, as, all the while, it is wondered what sort of underlying narrative has brought together Boba Fett and a large, fuzzy rabbit.
Rebecca Jewell spent a year in New Guinea in 1982 and became inspired by feather artifacts and birds. She saw how important they were to the people there and was amazed by the beautiful feather headdresses people made. She went on to study anthropology at Cambridge University in 1985 and then gained a PhD from London’s Royal College of Art in Natural History Illustration. During that time she would work mainly in watercolor, drawing bird skins at the National History Museum and ethnographic artifacts made out of feathers at the British Museum.
All of these experiences came to influence the body of work she began to create using “ethically sourced” feathers to print on. Her work is based on careful observational drawing as a way of seeing, recording, investigating and analyzing. Through a process involving a photo-plate, ink, an etching press and feathers, Jewell creates beautiful and delicate works on feathers depicting birds. Of the pieces she says: “Over the past years I have drawn and painted feathers and birds, and explored how they have been used to enhance and decorate humans. I am also aware of the plight and precarious status of many species, which I wanted to represent in the delicacy of the image on the feather.”
An artist in residence at the British Museum, Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas, Jewell creates work that explores the shared histories between people that create certain artifacts, the explorers, anthropologists and travelers who obtain them, and the museums that house them.
Sara Angelucci’s intriguing series titled Aviary recalls the past to create strange portraits of birds that are superimposed onto anonymous nineteenth century cartes-de-visite (small, business card sized) photographs. It began by the artist studying the American Victoria area, and she connects its cultural, social, and ecological aspects conceptually to her work.
The nineteenth century was the United States’ colonial era when there was unprecedented expansion, exploration, and an interest in science and art. Family photo albums and commemorating memories were something new, as photography became increasingly common. The collection of cartes-de-visites were like trading cards, and the urge to collect didn’t stop there. People had cabinets of curiosities that included things like taxidermied birds, an interest that lead to the extinction of the passenger pigeon. Angelucci explains in a statement about the work, writing, “Made by combining photographs of endangered or extinct North American birds with anonymous nineteenth century cartes-de-visite portraits—they portray creatures about to become ghosts.”
She goes on to muse:
So how do we read these strange human-birdlike creatures? One could at once see them as manifestations of their time: a hybrid crossover of faith in science with a belief in otherworldly beings. As W. G. Sebald writes in Campo Santo, “[photography is] in essence, after all…nothing but a way of making ghostly apparitions materialize by means of a very dubious magical art.” And, what would it mean to embody another creature: Could one then see, feel, and understand its desire to live? Might we then imagine the Aviary portraits as chimera suspended in a state of empathy, and wonder what our treatment of other sentient beings might be if we could feel what they feel, or see what they see? (Via Observer: Design Observer)
Rarely do we encounter things in our daily life that sincerely challenge our sense of self. A close friend showed this to me the other day, and I think its appropriate NO my responsibility to share this with you. Its called Garfield minus Garfield.
Jalal Abuthina is a photographer with a history as varied as his work. He was born in Dublin but grew up all over the world, drifting between Libya, Greece, Tasmania, Australia, and Dubai. His jet-setting youth and current day job as a real estate consultant in Dubai have obviously informed his culturally charged imagery as well as his interest in clean, architectural lines.