Itching for new source material? The British Library has a public Flickr account that showcases over a million images sourced from books published centuries ago. This account not only gives anyone digital access to a wide range of obscure drawings, photographs, etchings, and others of the likes, it also allows the public to manipulate and make use of them anyway they chose. The Library released a statement;
“We have released over a million images onto Flickr Commons for anyone to use, remix and repurpose. These images were taken from the pages of 17th, 18th and 19th century books digitised by Microsoft who then generously gifted the scanned images to us, allowing us to release them back into the Public Domain. The images themselves cover a startling mix of subjects: There are maps, geological diagrams, beautiful illustrations, comical satire, illuminated and decorative letters, colourful illustrations, landscapes, wall-paintings and so much more that even we are not aware of”
The images span such a large array of topic areas and media that the librarians aren’t fully aware of what many of the images are. By allowing the public access to these images, the library not only shares them with the masses, but also hopes to collectively acquire knowledge about the content. The Library is planning to release a tool that will allow willing participants to offer information about the images with the aim to create a sort of referential guide.
This is a really amazing resource for artists, illustrators, graphic designers, and just anyone who is in to that sort of thing. Check out the full collection here, or just the highlights here (again, there are over a million).
Our planet is a truly magical work of art; complex, multifaceted and textural. Perhaps this is why Andy Warhol, a name that is unlikely to be associated with this topic, once said, “Land really is the best art.” Viewed in this simplistic yet profound light, land, or Earth, serves almost as found object in the implementation of Earthworks. In other instances land becomes the canvas, or the sculptural negative space for installation, or even a foundation and medium to explore sociocultural patterns.
Lita Albuquerque has used the earth and its materials for decades to create ephemeral and spiritually infused work. Her incorporation of performance, photography and installation creates multiple dimensions and lenses to experience our world, our relationship to earth and the stars, as well as their rhythms and cycles. The images featured here of her project Stellar Axis document an artistic expedition into Antarctica, which was the first and largest ephemeral work created on the continent. The installation of ninety-nine spheres across the icy landscape mimics the pattern of the ninety-nine Antarctic stars above- visually linking Earth to the cosmos.
Japanese photographer Osamu Yokonami’s voyeuristic series Assembly features groups of young women who all dress the same. The eerie images are shot from a distance, making the viewer feel as if they’re spying on the troops. And with their backs turned towards the camera, you don’t know exactly what their motivations are. Although they don’t appear to be causing any mischief, we can’t be so sure.
Yokonami writes about Assembly, stating:
Each person has their own personality. I try to keep a bit of distance between us in this work. Then, the existence of each person disappeared and the existence of the group appeared instead. The strength and beauty as a collective entity stood out more by being in nature. I was attracted to the expressiveness of the group. (Via WeTheUrban)
Four months of exhausting hard work in an abandoned area with no sun just artificial light. The final result, a stop motion movie with no digital effects where everything is handmade. everything is handmade. Over 5000 pictures were processed with an average of 15 per second to make this come alive! By Quintessenz Creation.
DeChazier Stokes-Johnson has relaunched The Marma Spot, a collection of interviews done with a wide range of known and unknown creatives from around the world. From design here Stefan Sagmeister to Run Athletics sneaker designer Rashid Young. Some good reading for those trying to find creative inspiration.
For the artist Annette Thas, Barbie is a disturbingly bittersweet symbol of childhood nostalgia and longing; for installation piece “Wave I,” she uses between 3,000 and 5,000 barbie dolls to build a sculptural wave, re-appropriating the doll as a means of translating her earliest memories, scenes which now flood her after returning to Belgium to care for her ill sister. Her sister’s illness, she explains, was related to the childhood they shared, one that was marked in part by the death of her brother.
For the artist, the wave is meant to convey her own relationship to overwhelming memories; it is 4 meters wide and stands at 3 meters tall, forcing viewers to be encased completely within its depths. The piece seems to swell with cascading blond hair, forever caught at the terrifying moment before its breaking. Adding to its realism, Thas chose to exhibit it on the beach as part of 2014’s Sculpture by the Sea amidst the sounds and smells of real waves.
The barbies in the piece, wild hair tangled and stripped of their clothing, do indeed seem ominous, but they are also startlingly sympathetic. They are second-hand toys, once loved but eventually discarded. They have endured a sort of violence, having been scarred by knives and bite marks. Each one has a poignant narrative all her own; one doll simply bears the words “please love me” on her chest. The plastic toys, symbolic of the scores of children who once owned them, are somehow lonesome now, robbed of childhood’s affections. Their demanding presence is urgent and desperate, their blue eyed faces pressing us to remember both the magical and painful bits of our youths. (via Design Boom)
Jason Dussault is a Vancouver- and New York-based artist who uses the ancient medium of mosaics to recreate iconic images, many of which you will probably recall from your childhood. Among the shattered and beautifully arranged pieces — largely composed of ceramic, paint, grout, and resin — are the familiar visages of Batman, Thor, and the Hulk. Also depicted are important religious figures, including the Buddha and Jesus, as well as images of personal significance to Dussault; the hellhound “Fido,” for example, is a visualization of his inner, artistic strength. His masterful blending of colours and shapes create dimensional, intricate images that inspire both excitement and nostalgia.
In all of these works, Dussault has used the fractured and geometric power of the mosaic to manifest an “internal struggle,” a resistance against a world wherein magic has been stripped away by the realities of adulthood. By recreating memory-infused imagery from broken shards, Dussault’s craft serves as an active reclamation of “the magic, excitement, and hopefulness that stimulated his youth” (Source). Memory — and everything else that composes our emotional and physical lives — is fragile, but as Dussault shows us, it is never too late to recompose that which we think is broken or lost.
Dussault’s work is currently being featured in an exhibition entitled Deconstructive / Constructive at the Hoerle-Guggenheim Gallery in New York, which is running until April 2, 2015. Visit his website for more examples of his work.
Troy Dugas’ geometric paintings are made from vintage product labels he purchases in unused bundles. He cuts and arranges this material onto flat surfaces to produce works that appear to be woven. Using repetition, pattern, precision, and scale, Troy distracts and tricks our eye from the original purpose of the labels to sell a product.The immediacy of the graphic labels are substituted with aesthetic sensation and contemplation creating a transformative state of meditation via Troy’s laborious and meditative process.