At the best of times, embroidery can be impressive and time consuming, but this project shows us just how much of an art form it can be. Flickr user NanaAkua has been uploading pictures of her grandmother’s embroidered balls for a while now, educating us all about an ancient art form popular in Japan. Called Temari balls, they are folk art that originated in China, but were quickly adopted by Japan. And this very talented Japanese grandmother in particular has been embroidering Temari balls for over 30 years – building a collection of over 500 balls. Made from the threads from old kimono, the Temari balls are intricate, full of imaginative patterns and as diverse as they are colorful.
They are traditionally cherished as objects of friendship and loyalty. The bright colors symbolize luck and happiness for the recipient of the gift. And it isn’t only considered an honor to receive a Temari ball, but also to produce them. To qualify as a Temari ball artist, the individual has to display a high level of skill and technique.
Here’s a little bit of more information on the amazing art form that are Temari balls:
Traditionally, temari were often given to children from their parents on New Year’s Day. Inside the tightly wrapped layers of each ball, the mother would have placed a small piece of paper with a goodwill wish for her child. The child would never be told what wish his or her mother had made while making the ball. (Source)
What do you get when you combine thousands of toothpicks, glue, and ingenious craftsmanship? You get the work of artist Scott Weaver, who has created a model of San Francisco out of these materials after thirty-five years of creative determination. Nothing more than these two simple materials, toothpicks and glue, forms the intricate layers of this concrete jungle. Scott Weaver began this structure, titled Rolling Through the Bay, in 1974, but has been building sculptures out of toothpicks since he was eight years old. His early work began as abstracts formation, much smaller than his San Francisco masterpiece.
As if constructing such a complex, detailed, city replica out of miniature objects was not impressive enough, Weaver’s piece Rolling Through the Bay is interactive! The structure is kinetic, as it navigates ping pongs balls like tourists through the many infamous sites and neighborhoods that make up San Francisco’s lifeblood. You can see city attractions like the Golden Gate Bridge and Chinatown in his mass of toothpicks, but much more is to be seen. The delicate intricacy of this astonishing sculpture speaks volumes to Scott Weaver’s skill and patience. It is not surprising to know that the artist is a San Francisco native, as is many generations of his family before him. The love and pride of San Francisco can be seen in the time and care that Rolling Through the Bay took to create.
(via Colossal) All Photography by The Tinkering Studio
A million little pieces stitched together shapes a large moving tapestry. The waves of the installation, similar to chainmail, create a voluptuous presence. Artist El Anatsui is mesmerizing our senses and attracting our curiosity. He designs from simple materials complex compositions, using all sorts of tools to merge modest means into powerful and impressive pieces. In between sculpture (for the structure) and painting (for the way colors drop from different angles), the delicate and monumental pieces cannot be categorized.
El Anatsui’s work emphasizes the fact that art is a sixth sense, an add-on and a value that’s indescribable. From liquid bottle caps, iron nails, driftwood or cassava graters the artist creates morphing mosaics that are hung up the walls of monuments and museums in major cities. Seen from far away, the meticulously assembled little pieces become an accumulation of gems. Each installation is non fixed and can be moved from one place to another without ever having the same appearance. Just like fabric, the piece is creased, folded and adjusted to its in-situ set.
The artist’s impact on one hand is for the viewer to reflect on obvious key topics such as consumption, waste and environment. The bottle caps or the tin lids that he uses represent simultaneously garbage and manpower, thinking of that while he creates helps him give a spiritual dimension to his art.
On the other hand, the pieces help make a connection between America, Africa and Europe. The fact that the installations are hung questions the part of a wall as sequestration, protection or deprivation from freedom.
“Artists are not dictators”, El Anatsui claims loud and clear next to his pieces. He doesn’t want to impose an idea because everyone’s point of view is valid.
The artist was awarded in April 2015 at the Venice Biennale with a Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement. Watch the video below of one of the greatest artistic influencer amongst two generations of artists working in West Africa.
In a series of eerie, 3D printed dioramas, Canadian artist Guillaume Lachapelle expands miniature scenes into voids of seemingly infinite space. Entitled Visions, this series depicts ordinary spaces we see every day, such as a suburban neighborhood, parking lot, corridor, and library. However, when compressed, cast in shadows, and stretched into infinity, these rooms and urban landscapes take on a different emotional significance; the familiar becomes uncanny, instilling the imagination with both excitement and fear of the unknown. Where does the neighborhood end? And where does the hallway lead? As the exhibition description for Visions intriguingly states, “Lachapelle’s miniatures act as a threshold between what is seen and not seen” (Source).
During their exhibition, each of the tiny scenes were positioned atop solitary pillars. Seeing them from the outside almost lends the viewer a god-like perspective — we can perceive everything the mirrored spaces contain, including their hidden symbolism. The effect is somewhat alienating, as the illusory vastness intensifies an uncomfortable sense of loneliness; the parking lot, for example, becomes a dead zone of concrete and pale light that stretches on forever. However, on this existential plane, the universe is not entirely uncaring: there are signs of life and comfort, such as the lights from within the houses, and the books containing all the marks of human history. Looking past our dread of infinitude and emptiness, there is a greater, warmer, symbolic core in Lachapelle’s dioramas, and with the mirrors providing infinite space, the meaning we can pour into them is limitless.
The geometry of perception is a concept Michael Zelehoski touches on. His work plays tricks with your eye challenging the part of your brain that processes three dimensional forms. What it soon discovers is that Zelehoski is presenting an idea to challenge your notion of a two dimensional object. Not so much an optical illusion as a different way of looking at things, Zelehoski uses common, mostly found structural debris to explore his ideas. Some of the objects he has painted include a twisted police barrier, a pile of wooden planks and the skeletal remains of wooden platforms. He recently created a three dimensional piece depicting a fallen electric tower. The structure was laid out flat on the gallery floor similar to how his paintings look. When shown next to his canvases, it was hard to tell which was real and which was a painting. This further challenges our notion of what is and what should be. It explores ideas which give insight into how perception affects our everyday reality and also tells us we should not take things only at face value.
Artist Malene Hartmann Rasmussen’s new installation “In The Dead Of Night” got her a spot amongst the 5 winners of Jerwood Makers Open, in the UK. It is her biggest work yet, featuring an artificial forest with trees 3,60m trees amongst which rabbits, mushrooms, and other elements of forest scenery can be seen. The end result of this elaborate scenery is a walk through installation where the audience can take in their surroundings in an environment full of sights and sounds.
Hartmann has taken a familiar surrounding and made it just strange enough for you to pick up an underlying mystical tone and soak in the artificial beauty of her creation. However, “In The Dead Of Night” is not a simple depiction of a forest, it reaches beyond this imagery: The forest in this piece also serves as a metaphor for the different corners of the mind and, walking through the installation prompts the audience to take a walk through their own minds.
For this piece, Hartmann has made use of various mediums and materials including ceramics, neon, photography, mixed media, light and sound. This combination of materials has made for a very thoughtful, eclectic piece with many details to spark and capture the viewer’s attention. By allowing the public to walk through the installation, Hartmann has elevated the status of the public to that of a participant, which, in turn reinforces the echos of nature present in her piece.
Artist Patricia Piccinini has a very impressive and eclectic range of artistic talents. Her body of work includes drawings, installations, and even a giant hot-air balloon that has floated across Australia. Her astonishingly hyper-real sculptures, however, truly give you an image that you will not soon forget. Made from silicone, acrylic, and fiberglass, Patricia Piccinini forms creatures that appear to be somewhat human, but altogether alien. They seem to be alive, as they stare back at you with emotion-filled eyes. They exhibit traits of humans, like lifelike hair and fleshy skin, but are unmistakably not. It is as if they are hybrid animals living amongst us. Many of her sculptures include one of her hairless, mutated creatures alongside of what appears to be a real human. The dichotomy between this possible mutated creatures and a “human” is interesting, because neither one is actually real.
Patricia Piccinini’s work explores ethical issues surrounding cloning, DNA, and genetic mutation. Her shocking sculptures point a firm finger at human kind’s manipulation of nature and the possible consequences. The effect science has on the natural world and the creatures inhabiting it are a reoccurring theme in Piccinini’s work. We see her sculptures that look so realistic; it is as if these grotesque creatures really do exist. Portraying them with human-like features gives way to pity and empathy for the creatures. The artist’s incredibly intriguing work is one of unbelievable skill that holds a strong, often controversial, message on genetic alteration and mankind’s hand in nature.
These beautiful marbles from Portland based glass artist Mike Gong shows us he hasn’t lost his marbles at all – he has definitely still got them and, in fact, wants us to buy them. The talented man hand crafts colorful, intricate marbles filled with psychedelic swirls, bubbles, swooshes, and flecks. Ranging from about 13mm to 50mm, his marbles, which he calls ‘Acid Eaters’ are incredibly detailed and contain amazing miniature worlds within.
Gong’s marbles are full of abstract colors and forms, and he really exploits the materiality of the glass. Only with this particular material – and Gong’s patience and skill – can he achieve the depth, transparency and luminescence we see. You can purchase them here to look at them up close and in depth yourself. (Via Juxtapoz)