The Secret Garden Of Snails Is Filled With Slimey Wonder

SnailsSnailsSnailsSnails

The photographer Vyacheslav Mishchenko spent much of his childhood in nature; following his father on mushroom hunting expeditions, he often crouched to the ground in rapt fascination with the tiny, slimy, and colorful wonderland of bugs. As an adult, he returns to this kingdom of imagination, cataloguing the daily lives of snails.

Breaking from the objectivity of traditional nature photography, Mishchenko’s soulful images read like a children’s storybook, filled with unexpected emotionality and suspense. The expertly-shot macro images frame the miniature snail landscapes in miraculous detail, seducing viewers into a world of Alice In Wonderland mushrooms and plump fruits. Shot from the vantage-point of teensy, unsuspecting creatures, the world seems vast and dazzlingly fertile.

The delicate creatures, seen so vividly, become startlingly powerful, their muscular bodies twisting and writhing around newly-budding stems. In this strange and enchanting visual narrative, snails become lovers who gently kiss, seemingly forming one long, sticky body in their embrace. They curiously extend towards succulent forbidden fruits that drip with raindrops; as if in some natural Eden, they hide their bodies in fantastic shells.

Reflected many times over in perfectly rounded dewdrops and in the artist’s own lens, the snails seem to verge on the point of self-awareneness. As if to evoke the metaphor applied to Helena and Hermia, the young heroines of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, two snails arch their bodies over twin cherries, ripe and red. It’s miraculous what goes on beneath our feet, and I cannot think of  better set of images to get us in the mood for spring. (via BUST)

Idyllic-Looking Landscapes Are Actually Underwater Aquascaping

Aquascaping

After the Rain in Mountain, Katsuki Tanaka

Aquascaping

Whisper of the Pines, Serkan Cetinkol

Aquascaping

Wild West, Stjepan Erdeljić

Aquascaping

Forest Scent, Pavel Bautin

Looking at these landscapes, you’d never believe that they were underwater. The incredible fishtanks are entries from the obscure Japanese-based  International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest, the largest of its kind. Tiny worlds are meticulously assembled over the course of months or even years. This is not a cheap hobby; fragile aquascaping layouts like these are expensive to grow and maintain.

Considering how grandiose these tanks are, it’s no surprise to learn that the fish are not the primary concern. They aren’t included in many aquariums, although you can spot some of them in these photographs.

Competitors need to be skilled in more than just aqua construction to do well. They need to be experts in areas including biology, design, and photography. The best fishtanks are a combination of complex landscape arrangements and healthy yet unusual-looking greens. These aquatic layouts are escapist, in a way. For a moment, we forget what we’re looking at and that it’s underwater. Instead, its unusual miniature features make us feel like we’re an omnipotent giant that could destroy these worlds at any time. (Via 22 Words)

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Diana Scherer’s Photographs Exposes The Secret Root Systems Of Potted Plants

Diana Scherer - Photography

Diana Scherer - Photography

Diana Scherer - Photography

Diana Scherer - Photography

In artist Diana Scherer’s series Nurture Studies, she used soil, seeds, and photography to produce her work. Letting flowers grow in vases rather than the ground, she matured the plants and later broke the glass, exposing the dense roots that took the shape of their containers. They were then photographed at the peak of their lives; Flowers had bloomed, plants grew tall, and nearly all the flora was green.

Scherer’s work is visually very tight. The dirt is packed against the roots, and even out of their containers, the plants hold their shape. Although the plants look highly controlled, there is very little that Scherer can actually manipulate.  Aint-Bad Magazine wrote about this Scherer’s photographs, highlighting this fact. They state:

There is an inherent contradiction in Scherer’s working method. Although she is dedicated to the project and keeps a close eye on whether the roots are developing as desired—checking them carefully and with the utmost precision—her ability to manipulate the plants’ growth is limited. She has to accept the impossibility of total control. This contrast between almost obsessive monitoring and an inability to fundamentally influence events becomes an intense, almost ritual presence in her work. Scherer’s photos are carefully rationed, showing a single moment as the culmination of a long process of growth.

Scherer’s presentation of the plants is very straightforward. There is no extreme lighting and the background is devoid of anything but a color. With the a series with the word “studies” in the title, I see Scherer’s work as specimens, the result of an exercise in timing, and, for lack of a better word, nurture. (Via Aint-Bad magazine)

Phoebe Washburn’s Fort Installations And Mixed Media Inventions

Phoebe Washburn - Installation Phoebe Washburn - InstallationPhoebe Washburn - Installation

Phoebe Washburn’s constructions, built from found or discarded objects such as plants, plywood, cardboard, or fish tanks, to name a few, have been gaining critical acclaim and momentum since 2008, when she took part in the coveted Whitney Biennial.

Of her craft and salvage, in W Magazine, Washburn states: “I’m not green; I’m greedy . . . There’s definitely an aspect of hoarding that drives this, absolutely! If I see someone walking down the street with a nice piece of wood, I’m like, Where did they get that?”

Her approach to discussing art is as playful and humble as the structures themselves, or their titles, which range from “Nunderwater Nort Lab” (above, top) to “Baby Brain (Not Safe for Use as Jacuzzi)” (above, below).

Makoto Azuma’s Incredible Art and Design with Plants.

“AMKK is a company developing the experimental creation by Makoto Azuma, a flower artsit, whose subject is flowers and plants. The activities of AMKK aim to increase the existential value of plants by finding out the most mysterious figure only owned by flowers and plants and converting it to the artistic expression.”

Makoto Azuma’s work with plants are really extraordinary. Using plastic and real materials, he crafts furniture, installation, and sculpture with a particular natural, earthy aesthetic. Chairs made out of artificial turf, installations of leaves that seem to endlessly fold into themselves, and human/tree pseudo-mutations are just a few of the things he’s done so far. Azuma also runs an haute couture flower shop (I didn’t know such a thing existed) called Jardins des Fleurs in Tokyo. (via)

Ivo van der Bent, “Think of Me” series

I really like how the isolation of the object and their illumination by the camera give the plants human characteristics- those not getting any love. The ones in our office are slowly resembling these :[

Visit the Ivo van der Bent’s to see more of his work.