Luminescent Zip-Tie Formations Are Shaped into Futuristic Organic Life by Artist Elisabeth Picard
May 1, 2020

Montreal-based artist Elisabeth Picard curls, fans, and locks together hundreds of zip-ties into tremendously formed glowing sculptures and undulating installations. The futuristic artworks merge geological and organic elements with science fiction to create abstract formations that the artist likens to “landscapes, minerals, plants, micro-organisms, and sea creatures.”
Picard tells Colossal that since she began working with the nylon links in 2011, she’s used more than 300,000 ties. The artist hand-dyes each piece with pastels, earth tones, and sometimes fluorescent hues that will later glow under UV light and add depth with shadows. More Continue reading

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Neon-Illuminated Glass Orchids by Laura Hart Consider the Flowers’ Fragility and Resiliency
April 16, 2020

Made of translucent glass, Laura Hart’s brilliant orchids appear to be the paragon of delicacy: the fleshy petals and neon-illuminated columns are in full bloom, representing a fleeting stage of life that’s modeled with an easily breakable substance. The Suffolk-based artist, though, is more concerned with the floral family’s historical resilience and aptitude for survival.
There are 28,000 known species of orchids, which 100-million-year-old fossil records prove were the first to bloom. “Representing a quarter of the world’s flowering plants, there are four times as many orchid species as there are mammals and twice as many birds,” Hart says. More Continue reading

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A Massive Faux Staircase Punctuates A Glass-Sided Home Before Flowing into an Outdoor Garden
April 4, 2020

The design team at Nendo knew they’d need a way to connect the three generations—and eight cats—living inside a newly constructed home in the Shinjuku area of Tokyo, so they created an enormous staircase. Spanning from the outdoor garden to the third floor, the steel-and-concrete structure isn’t designed for climbing between floors but does serve as a multi-level garden area and space for the cats to lounge. It also conceals bathrooms and the staircase residents actually will use, while the white-paneled walls hold additional storage. More Continue reading

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The Enchanting Echoes of the Cristal Baschet, a Rare Organ Made of Glass Rods, Metal, and Wood
March 14, 2020

Invented in 1952 by Bernard and François Baschet, the Cristal Baschet (also called a Crystal Organ) is a unique instrument that outputs an even more unique and artful sound. In the video above, multi-instrumentalist and film composer Marc Chouarain explains how it works and demonstrates techniques for turning finger rubs and drags into deep melodic echoes.
According to musician and rare instrument performer Thomas Bloch, models of the crystal organs range from 3.5 to 6 octaves and are made of 56 chromatically tuned glass rods. More Continue reading

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Floral-and-Frond Compositions Shape Energetic Wildlife by Raku Inoue
March 2, 2020

Known for his botanical arrangements of beetles, insects, and butterflies, Raku Inoue once again is bringing flora and fauna together. His previous work often positions the animals in stationary poses, resembling a portrait of an owl or a scorpion pinned inside a glass case as part of a collection. The latest pieces in his Natura Wildlife series, though, indicate a liveliness and inclination for movement, from a whale blasting orange flowers from its blowhole to a seahorse grasping a Q-tip. More Continue reading

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Sheets of White Paper Layered into Dense Cityscapes and Forests by Ayumi Shibata
February 19, 2020

Japan-based artist Ayumi Shibata (previously) constructs intricate paper cities and natural landscapes that both fit in the palm of her hand and are expansive enough to pass through on foot. Using dozens of layers of paper for a single project, Shibata carves miniature houses, clouds, and tree-filled forests that eventually are illuminated in glass vessels, stored safely in a book, or erected in large-scale installations.
The artist tells Colossal that she doesn’t use pencil outlines, in part because the white paper isn’t durable enough to be erased if there’s an error. More Continue reading

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Glass Vessels Skew Florals in Illusory Photographs by Suzanne Saroff
February 5, 2020

Suzanne Saroff doesn’t mind if her audience has a distorted view of the vibrant flowers and leaves she captures. The New York-based photographer, who’s worked with a long list of clients like Calvin Klein, Glossier, and Prada, is a master of illusion in her tonal images that place florals behind clear glasses of water, skewing their structures in her red, pink, and beige compositions.
Saroff tells Colossal that her latest work revisits elements of distortion she used in previous projects that framed images of bananas, avocados, and fish behind glass vessels filled with water. More Continue reading

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