While killing some time online I stumbled across the work of Dana Dart-McLean on Small A Projects website. Small A Projects works with a wide array of young up and coming artists like Dana who work in every medium from sculpture to photography to painting. I haven’t had a chance to stop by the gallery and see the space in person but it looks like a worthwhile destination on your next trip to NYC.
Earlier this month Birmingham, England opened its grand new library in the city center. The city hopes that the impressive metal-clad work of art, which cost around $295 million to build, will become a key element in redefining Birmingham’s image. Currently the largest public library in the UK, and the largest public cultural space in Europe, the library is certainly hard to miss. Mecanoo with engineers, Buro Happold, were enlisted in 2008 as the designers behind the project after winning an international competition run by the Royal Institute of British Architects. Mecanoo designed the exterior of the building, with its filigree pattern of metal rings over gold and silver glass facades, to reference the city’s artisan tradition.
Speaking at the opening was Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who the Taliban shot for campaigning for women’s right to education. Now residing in Birmingham Yousafzai stated that “Let us not forget that even one book, one pen, one teacher can change the world.” In the first eight days of being open the library surpassed 100,000 visitors.
100 mugs in 100 days. The creative duo Charlie and Blair rose to the challenge. The result is a collection of ceramic mugs, hand made and hand painted. Passionate about their work, they were able without any difficulty to create the mugs in a conventional and less conventional way. Adrian ‘Charlie’ is the one making the shapes, while Heather ‘Blair’ paints. The project nourished their excitement and enthusiasm, striving to stay focused and creative at the same time. “It’s that passion and drive that keeps you motivated to create day in and day out”.
The design of the mugs started as commercial. Adrian says the greatest challenge was to innovate. To encounter the risk of facing self doubt, anxiety and failure during the process. Therefore, there’s a clear exploration of shape, form and function. Some pieces end up not representing at all a conventional mug. The paintings on the mugs were inspired by travels to Turkey, Korea and Japan. Heather translated architecture and decorative patterns on mosques, tiles and jewelry into the ornaments of the mugs. She mostly used quirky designs and doodles. There’s an intention to contrast the original and singular shapes with classic color tones. Making each piece unique and one of a kind.
In 2011, a woman named Erin Hart stole artist Jessamyn Lovell’s wallet, and eventually her identity, racking up credit card charges, parking tickets, and even a theft charge in Lovell’s name. As an act of retribution for this infuriating and frightening experience, Lovell created an art exhibition called “Dear Erin,” featuring documents, surveillance photos, videos, and interviews documenting Erin Hart’s crime spree. Hell hath no fury like a woman with a stolen identity.
“Using a camera and occupying the varied roles of victim, stalker, investigator, artist, spy, and vigilante, Lovell offers a body of work that touches on contemporary concerns of surveillance and selfhood within the information age.”
The thoroughness of “Dear Erin Hart” is impressive and somewhat alarming. In the attempt to “[understand] this woman and the course of events that brought their lives together,” Lovell hired a private investigator and even photographed Erin Hart being released from jail, a series of photos that are disturbingly stalker-like. The project was exhibited at SF Camerawork from September 3 – October 18, 2014.
Now, in a continuation of the project, Lovell hopes to contact Erin Hart in order to deliver a letter she’s written. She’s raising money for her trip (from Albuquerque, NM where Lovell lives to San Francisco, CA where Hart lives) through the sale of her own photos on Etsy and using a crowd funding campaign posted on her Facebook page.
“Lovell says that her hope is to reach out to her identity thief one more time in an attempt to get her most burning questions answered. Lovell also says that even if her attempt fails and Hart refuses to talk to her, she will at least know Hart knows of Lovell’s existence. She also hopes that Erin Hart will accept the invitation to allow Lovell to interview her and agree to be recorded.”
Erin Case stole Jessamyn Lovell’s identity, time, and peace of mind. Lovell, in relentlessly pursuing her thief, robs her of her anonymity.
Milan-born artist El Gato Chimney combines illustration, painting, and street art in a blend of whimsy and surrealism. In his bio, he lists his studies as: “alchemy, ancient and modern art, magic, mirabilia, occultism, popular folklore, primitive art and spiritualism.” Though it might seem like too broad a net, all these influences can indeed be seen in his work.
His illustration is dualistic: brightly colored, they look like pages from some charming, nonsense tale meant for children. Simultaneously, there’s something darker simmering underneath, like the fairy tales of old where women danced in burning shoes and decapitation was nothing more unusual than a particularly large yawn. Occult symbols are sprinkled throughout, and figures are occasionally found in ritualistic poses, like small animals mid-pagan festival.
El Gato Chimney’s bio ruminates on this undertow: “When in front of these works it is impossible not to wonder what hides in the woods, where that road will lead up to, why these beings trust in such a blind way this primitive religion, partly attributable to preexisting cults, partly made up.”
Earlier last week, 1.5 million people filled the streets of Berlin, Germany to watch a several-day performance by France’s Royal de Luxe street theatre company titled “The Berlin Reunion”. Part of the celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Reunion show featured two massive marionettes, the Big Giant, a deep-sea diver, and his niece, the Little Giantess. The storyline of the performance has the two separated by a wall, thrown up by “land and sea monsters”. The Big Giant has just returned from a long and difficult – but successful – expedition to destroy the wall, and now the two are walking the streets of Berlin, seeking each other after many years apart. Go take a look at the pictures on boston.com in all their large-sized glory. There were so many amazing ones I didn’t know which ones to post!
Sarah Hallacher’s gifs explore the different opportunities for pangs of heartbreak that exist in social media and technology. She uses texts, instagram, facebook, linkedin, googlechat, and email, to demonstrate the difficulties of the remnants of a relationship that linger in the age of the Internet. Each gif is set in the format of each platform, to show how the different type of information and notifications can have effect on you. They’re all pretty familiar, even probably to people who haven’t gone through a tough break up. For instance, the text message notification buildup when none is from the person you wish they were could even extend outside the realm of a romantic relationship; Everyone’s experienced disappointment or annoyance in not receiving a response from someone. Others are very specific to relationships, like the Facebook relationship status.
Hallacher presents these everyday difficulties in the most straightforward way, allowing the viewer to understand the significance of the aspects of a relationship that echoes through the Internet. Of the project Hallacher states:
“My goal was to pinpoint the exact place where something might feel painful for a moment,” she says. “I was trying to capture both the technology and the experience of it. If you’re not speaking to a person, you don’t know why they are taking these actions online. The online version of their action is very dry and cold, without context. I just wanted to highlight that. The computer is just a computer, and it doesn’t feel sorry for you.” (Via Co Exist)