Anna Maria Bellman intricately translates cartography into her own unique style by simplifying their elements into positive and negative space. She cuts precise slices into paper, constructing sections of maps of cities all over the world. Each hand cut incision represent paths on a map, building up the framework for a city. The artist’s work is heavily influenced from her extensive travels. Originally hailing from Germany, she has adventured to an impressive amount of cities including London, Berlin, New York, Paris, and Rome, just to name a few. All of these incredibly complex and diverse cities are represented in her work as a black and white composition of crisscrossing lines, intersecting and forming the streets and rivers.
Many of her cutout maps do not even appear as such, but rather an abstract grid of geometric lines, forming different shapes and patterns like tapestries. When the light shines through Anna Bellman’s maps, you can see their shadows creating a three-dimensional affect. Having explored more wilderness destinations as well, Bellman’s other works are highly floral and inspired from lush nature. Her nature-filled works include amazing patterns cut by hand, as intricate and delicate as those found naturally in the wild. Although Anna Bellman’s body of work can represent two ends of the spectrum, nature and city, the continuous monochromatic choice of using white paper unifies her brilliant work.
Los Angeles based artist Bovey Lee uses one single sheet of Chinese rice paper to cut and construct her unbelievably intricate urban scenes. The winding compositions she creates with simple positive and negative space forms a topsy-turvy world of concrete jungles, mountains, and wild flora. Even the clouds present in her work are fantastical as they swirl around the buildings like smoke. Bovey Lee’s process begins with rendering the composition digitally on a computer. She then prints these images and hand cuts each little detail into creation. These whimsical, impossible worlds are so complex you can search through the cut paper for hours, noticing small details like a person balancing across a tightrope, or a city floating on a cloud in the distance. Even the trucks passing by have unique patterns on each one.
Bovey Lee explains that her work is full of tension between mankind and our environment; a power struggle between two forces. Her work explores the intensions and actions of humans and the affect it has on our surroundings. Lee’s process can be tedious and time consuming, but at the same time meditative. The artist further explains her relationship with working with cut paper. (via Faith is Torment)
“My work is like drawing with a knife and is rooted in my study of Chinese calligraphy and pencil drawing. Cutting paper is a visceral reaction and natural response to my affection for immediacy, detail, and subtlety. The physical and mental demand from cutting is extreme and thrilling, slows me down and allows me to think clearly and decisively.”
It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, this artist takes the written word and uses it to carve rolling hills and steep mountains. Artist Guy Laramee transforms the pages of a book into a breathtaking a landscape by carving and shaping its pages into different geography. He uses books like encyclopedias and dictionaries to create mostly cliffs and steep rock formations. These tiny environments are incredibly detailed, as you can see each small tree, bush, and layer of earth. It is as if the pages have been corroded away, producing new form in the books. Erosion is a heavy theme in Guy Laramee’s body of work. Interested in ethnography, he explains that parts of cultures are often eroded away, lost to the hands of time. As technology advances, in print materials, such as encyclopedias, are on their way to being obsolete. The artist uses these “archaic” tools and utilizes them in a new way. Once a source for knowledge, now questions what is at risk of being lost culturally if these physical books do indeed disappear.
Guy Laramee is not just a talented paper sculpture, as you can see from the covers of the books he uses. He beautifully paints birds and sky on the covers and displays them upright so that you can see both sides. Both the inside and outside of these books are transformed into something amazing, showing different forms of nature. His miniature environments and ecosystems now live in the pages of books, reminding us of what stories and knowledge could possibly lay between the pages.
French artists Zim and Zou, comprised of Lucie Thomas and Thibault Zimmermann, took Spain by storm this May during EXPO Milan 2015 with their elaborate, thought provoking artwork. In store windows in the streets of Milan, the talented pair installed displays of intricate, three-dimensional work bursting with color and environmental messages. Created mostly out of carefully cut paper, Zim and Zou’s series illustrates the harmful effects GMO’s and aggressive farming can have on the environment, our own bodies, and the food industry as a whole. This fell in line with this years EXPO Milan theme for 2015, which is “Feeding the planet, Energy for life.”
The series in the display windows, titled Edible Monsters, reveals an array of sterile looking plants and animals, complete with mutant-like features and unnatural colors. Although these seemingly bright and cheery scenes evoke feelings of warmth and pleasantness at first glance, they all hold a bizarre aura, showing how the path that we currently are on can lead to terrible and irreversible effects on nature. One scene displays brilliantly colored, happy flowers that devour insects. In another window, one can see a fish swallowing harmful pills and a rabbit with a mutated third ear and crazed eyes. Each installation is beautifully done, but has a dark undertone of what effects chemical use and genetic manipulation can possibly have on our future. These eye-catching window displays shed light on the important subject of the world’s dietary habits and sustainability in a fantastical way. (via Design Boom)
US-based team of scientists has built a robot that folds itself into an origami-inspired shape starting from a flat sheet. The assemblage of such robot doesn’t require any human intervention. It is made from a polymer material which shrinks when heated, also has electronics and motors attached to it. When the heating elements affect the hinges made in paper, the robot starts transforming into a crab-like machine. The whole process takes about 4 minutes before the robot can start walking.
The team behind the project said their inspiration came from the complex 3-D shapes in origami: like in the Japanese paper art, various three-dimensional shapes are constructed from a single sheet of paper. This robot takes origami a step further. According to the developer team, such self-assembling robots can be greatly employed in construction or rescue works.
“[They could be delivered] through a confined passageway, such as a collapsed building, after which they would assemble into their final form autonomously,” states Marc Lavine, senior editor at Science.
Robot‘s small size makes is what makes it very useful because of the easy transportation and storage. Apart from search-and-rescue missions, a more advanced version of the robot could be easily used construction works, especially in places that are hard to reach. The whole project is said to cost $11,000 but with the initial designs in place, the mass-production robots should cost around $100 each. (via NPR)
Watch a short video about the project after the jump.
Kamolpan Chotvichai explores the limitations of paper by carefully hand-cutting portraits of herself and rendering an effect of dissolution based on the Buddha’s teaching on anatta (no self). Parts of Chotvichai’s human form appear warped and melted, almost glitchy, as if they are about to disintegrate; the artist’s careful attention to the direction and shape of her cuts produces an elegant illusory effect. Chotvichai explains,
One’s adhering to something can cause the greatest misery in life especially being attached to self-existing. The idea of this self-existing is actually self-formed and leads to variety of emotions. The temper, the mind and the body altogether gradually form the idea of being alive but when putting into consideration, without any substance, it is merely the thought that we think we are existing…The way I create my work is to set consciousness and concentration by slitting and cutting on the portrait of myself which is considered to be the unconditional action of effort and attempt. This action is therefore to destroy and create the emptiness which will lead to the stage of naught.
Chotvichai was born, raised, and educated in Bangkok, where she currently resides. (via my amp goes to 11)
Since the first photograph, photography has ushered forth in producing a consequential depiction of truths through the containment of fleeting moments in a tangible and archival format. Instances in time are revealed as light falls upon sensitized paper, asserting the presence of each photograph’s content. The picture plane remains uniform, constricted by its own variable, physical dimensions: a synthetic simulacrum of a three-dimensional reality that will forever remain in constant flux. And yet, in spite of presenting elements of proof based within reality, the upheaval of the actual authenticity of the photograph has found itself under siege.
Through a variety of executions, the following artists working with the photographic medium twist this truism in unique and awe-inspiring ways, abolishing preconceived notions of photography through a re-presentation of the photograph. In their reconsideration of the ordinarily static picture plane, form is pushed beyond the confines of the image through the destruction, manipulation or interference of the photograph.
It is difficult to believe that the astounding, realistic sculptures of husband and wife duo Allen and Patty Eckman are cast from paper. Inspired by cast paper techniques of mid-20th century Mexico, the couple has developed and trademarked a unique process called the Eckman Method®. Pouring paper pulp instead of bronze into silicone moulds, they are able to produce lightweight sculptures with an astonishing level of detail. Allen’s work centers on the history of the American West and Native American civilization, content that blends seamlessly with Patty’s focus on wild flora and fauna.
Allen, who himself is of Cherokee descent, seems to pick up where 19th century American bronze artists like Hermon Atkins MacNeil or James Earle Fraser left off. Echoing the sentiment of these early settlers to the West, Eckman portrays the vanishing Native American population with dignity and reverence. Many of their sculptures are colossal, looming above viewers with magnificent authority. Others are miniature, precious to behold. The Eckmans capture scenes both active and pastoral with equal attention to detail; the cowboy, blazing ahead on horseback, lasso in hand, is seen with as much clarity as the native American hunter, who rests for a moment with his equine companion, absorbing the sights of the natural world. Like living specimens of times and cultures too rarely recorded by history, mothers and children dance in historically-accurate clothing.
In their stunning visual work, the Eckmans are able to merge a new, innovative process with subject matter as timeless as our country, breathing new life into the cannon of work created by great American sculptures of the past. (via BeautifulLife)