The Australian-based photographer Steve Axford captures some mind-boggling fungi, including tropical mushrooms that had likely not been caught on film prior to these images. Compelled to adventure into obscure places left unexplored by most men, the artist documents strange organisms, many of which are found in his native area, the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales. A number of species exhibited in his body of work exist in more temperate zones, like Tasmania and the state of Victoria.
Axford, a retired computer system designer and manager, hopes to marry science and art. His photographs, in addition to being beautiful, are useful in the identification and cataloging of species previously undocumented. Prior to Axford’s efforts, the hairy mycena, a snowy white mushroom with a fuzzy cap and a translucent stem had not been spotted or archived in Australia. The same holds true for the blue leratiomyces, a plant native to New Caledonia and Lord Howe Island.
Seen here in striking detail are the most uncanny of fungi species, each enchanting in its own magical way. Some are bioluminescent, glowing an electric green in the night air; others are impossibly delicate, sprouting elegantly from moistened tree trucks. Unexpected colors spill into nature’s canvas with the growth of purple, blue, pink, and bright red mushrooms. The artist explains that photography has gifted him with the opportunity to slow down and absorb the earthly wonders that surround him; in shooting these strange, spindly lifeforms, he gives us the opportunity to do the same. Take a look. (via Colossal)
Western Exhibitions in Chicago, IL recently opened an exhibition entitled Plant Life. The show was curated by Geoffrey Todd Smith and is on view through March 9th. The show brings together a group of artists with a wide variety of techniques as they approach the subject of plants, flowers, and weeds. From traditional still lifes to experimental assemblage the show injects life into age old motifs. From the press release: “Plant Life is a group exhibition of artists who take flowers, plants or weeds as their subject. Each artist transforms and manipulates, formally and conceptually, their leafy content through a variety of materials and manners of expression, asserting their idiosyncratic visions by obsessing over materials, offering the plants new context while broadening the relationship to their human neighbors.” The show features Jonathan Gardener, Chinatsu Ikeda, Heidi Norton, Tyson Reeder, Mindy Rose Schwartz, Eric Wert, and Scott Wolniak.
Street art is really branching out these days into unchartered waters. Case and point, Trash Orcas. Our mammal pals were found swimming through various piles of trash all over Cincinnati. It’s sad to see that such elegant creatures digging through trash for a can of half eaten sardines. Guess we can blame it on the bad economy.
For his series “Normal Town/Normal View” Michael ten Pas composed photographs with the seemingly mundane objects in what we tend to think of as equally mundane towns, but through his juxtapositions and re-framings, he shows us how much there is to look at in what we overlook. It’s easy to forget that we all effectively live in a museum if we choose to see it that way. Michael breaks it down in his series statement:
“Nothing is boring. I find myself perplexed, curious, and amazed when I look at my everyday surroundings – the things that are allegedly normal or status quo. This is what ought to happen because the everyday is not predictable, though it is made out to be. The world reveals irony and absurdity; it contains mystery and humor and is full of ambiguity and illusion.”
I’m not exactly sure of how I feel about these digital expulsions by the Poster Company. I think my reaction came in 3 stages: first oscillating between questioning the validity of their artfulness, then awe at the convoluted jungle of pixels, then back to confusion again.
In Andy Kennedy‘s Accumulonimbus, natural and man-made objects on a spin cycle accumulate, disintegrate, and multiply. Created by stop motion animating clay on glass, the film is a meditation on motion and the life cycle of matter… Awesome! Check out the making of post here.