Deadly Plants Squashed Under Plastic by Artist Ant Hamlyn Question the Paradox of Preservation
September 29, 2022

The botanical works of West London-based artist Ant Hamlyn are studies of dichotomies and paradoxes. Polarities of the organic and synthetic, comfort and danger, and preservation and destruction emerge from his sculptures, which are comprised of playful, stylized interpretations of natural life pressed under sheets of acrylic.
On view as part of his solo show Tread Softly, Hamlyn’s most recent pieces include yellow daffodils, nightshades, and a pink flowering cactus that, although alluring for their blossoms, are extremely harmful if touched or ingested in real life. More Continue reading

Share

Watch
Milkweed, Cypress Spurge, and Other Native Plants Soar into the Sky in Mona Caron’s Poetic Murals
September 27, 2022

Towering far above their real-life counterparts, the wild specimens that populate Mona Caron’s murals emphasize nature’s inherent beauty and resilience. Clusters of pink petals peek out from behind curled milkweed leaves in Denver, while the wispy stalks of a euphorbia plant sprout flowering tendrils on an apartment complex in Bellinzona, Switzerland. Many of the botanic murals shown here are part of the San Francisco-based artist’s ongoing Weeds series, which places flourishing plants among largely urban environments as a metaphor for the endurance of the natural world. More Continue reading

Share

Watch
Colorful Digital Illustrations by Calvin Sprague Balance Order and Chaos
September 6, 2022

A patchwork of geometric shapes and clean, black lines comprise the bold, dynamic illustrations of Rotterdam-based artist Calvin Sprague (previously). Digitally rendered in retro color palettes, animals, foliage, and facial features layer into compositions dense with abstract details. Monochromatic backdrops tend to frame a central figure or scenario, which sometimes camouflage additional figures and elements within their structural forms.
Prints, t-shirts, and other goods featuring Sprague’s works are available in his shop, and you can dive into an archive of his illustrations on Behance and Instagram. More Continue reading

Share

Watch
‘Wild Textiles’ Is a Practical Guide for Turning Foraged Materials into Fiber-Based Works
August 22, 2022

From gathering and retting stinging nettle to stitching leaves into delicately layered quilts, Wild Textiles: Grown, Foraged, Found is a trove of tips and projects involving organic fibers. The forthcoming book by artist Alice Fox is a practical guide to working with nature’s materials at all steps of the process: she offers advice on growing plants and harvesting others, how to transform the raw matter into cord or thread, and examples of artworks that incorporate the repurposed textiles. More Continue reading

Share

Watch
UV Light Unveils the Extraterrestrial Luminescence of the American West in Cody Cobb’s Photos
August 5, 2022

In his ongoing Spectral series, Las Vegas-based photographer Cody Cobb projects an ultraviolet light source across desert shrubs and secluded, rocky coves, unveiling an invisible spectrum of blues and oranges. Lichens, fallen leaves, and the bacteria growing from lava tubes become radiant lifeforms and transform locations in Washington, Utah, California, and New Mexico into otherworldly landscapes.
Focused on organic matter like mineral deposits and plants, Cobb’s photos expose what he describes as a “parallel world,” where the UV light allows an extraterrestrial eeriness to emerge. More Continue reading

Share

Watch
Dried and Pressed Flowers Are Molded into Delicate Sculptural Vessels by Shannon Clegg
July 26, 2022

Immersed in the flora of Cape Town’s Table Mountain as a child, artist Shannon Clegg has always had an affinity for unembellished, humble materials, particularly those harvested naturally and shaped into innovative forms. This now lifelong inclination emerges in Bouquet, her series of biophilic sculptures comprised of dozens of flowers dried and pressed into intricately constructed mesh. Hollow and vase-like, the preserved works extend the vibrancy and supple forms of purple statice or burgundy kangaroo paw from approximately ten days to upwards of five years. More Continue reading

Share

Watch
An Elegant Timelapse of an Oak from Acorn to Tree in 196 Days
July 18, 2022

In this brief timelapse, a single acorn germinates from seed to sapling over a period of 196 days, transferred carefully from vessel to vessel as it sprouts. The simple yet wondrous clip is just one of many plant growing timelapse videos produced by Youtube channel Boxlapse (also on Instagram) where you’ll find a new clip almost every weekday. The clips include all manner of plants and fungi captured in interesting ways, including the growth of a mango tree over a yearlong period or the first 113 dragon fruit cactus, seen below. More Continue reading

Share

Watch
Plants, Motifs, and Cultural Symbols Are Superimposed onto Digital Portraits by Sam Rodriguez
June 30, 2022

San Jose-based artist Sam Rodriguez might liken an abstract leaf sprouting from a young woman’s garment or a Pac-Man-esque rendering floating near a subject’s face to scenic elements. His portraits, which he’s been referring to as “cultural landscapes” for the past few years, are topographies of identity that involve replacing trees, rivers, and horizons with social markers. “It’s interesting to see the endless variants that each individual carries when we unpack who they are,” he shares with Colossal. More Continue reading

Share

Watch
Vegetation and Hybrid Figures Entwine in Winnie Truong’s Mythical Collaged Drawings
June 10, 2022

Canadian artist Winnie Truong recontextualizes the sleek, piecey qualities of human hair in her cut-paper collages. Constructed in layers within rectangular frames, the surreal works utilize the soft texture to depict flowers, vegetation, and strange anthropomorphic figures with elongated fingers and faces obscured by body parts or surroundings. Each piece is rooted in Truong’s drawing practice, and the colored pencil renderings add depth to the mythical compositions.
An extension of her two-dimensional works, these dioramas similarly explore the connection between women and nature. More Continue reading

Share

Watch
Layers of Intricately Cut Paper Evoke Strength and Vulnerability in Christine Kim’s Elegant Collages
June 2, 2022

In intricately cut collages by Ontario-based artist Christine Kim, flowers, foliage, and crown-like adornments encompass anonymous portraits. Painted floral motifs on carefully torn pieces of paper paired with slats of wood appear like lath exposed beneath ornate wallpaper, providing a backdrop for the elegant silhouettes. The elaborate designs of the figures’ headdresses suggest wrought iron with delicate strands of plants or ribbon partially obscuring their faces. In her series Paper Thin, Kim explores myriad techniques for working with the ubiquitous material. More Continue reading

Share

Watch
Garments of Grass and Flowers Fuse Jeanne Simmons’s Body to the Landscape
May 18, 2022

“When we spend a lot of time in a place, and if we are paying attention, a kind of intimacy develops,” says Jeanne Simmons. The artist, who’s based in the Pacific Northwest, grounds her practice in this sense of familiarity and ease with her surroundings. “We come to know the plants that grow there and the critters that roam there… We may even begin to feel that we ourselves have become part of that place, and it is this feeling that sustains and inspires me.”
After gathering natural materials like branches, wild vegetables, and bark, Simmons constructs garments that intertwine her own body with the landscape and obscure the distinction between the two. More Continue reading

Share

Watch
Repurposed Stained Glass Comprises a Disorienting Illuminated Greenhouse by Heywood & Condie
May 16, 2022

A brilliant greenhouse suffused with a rich spectrum of color stands at 25 Porchester Place in London. Bathed in sunlight by day and illuminated by LED bulbs at night, the translucent structure is lined with a disorienting collage of Christian iconography and folkloric imagery: saintly figures sprout insect wings and wildlife occupies spaces usually dominated by humans in a melange of spiritual symbols.
Titled “Sacré blur,” the greenhouse is a 2015 project by horticultural artists Tony Heywood and Alison Condie, who originally created the piece to house psychedelic plants at the Oxford Botanic Gardens—this part of the project never materialized over fears that students might misuse the hallucinatory specimens. More Continue reading

Share

Watch
Aerial Photos Document the Expansive Greenhouses Covering Spain’s Almería Peninsula
March 25, 2022

A follow-up to his series focused on the glow of LED-lit greenhouses, Tom Hegen’s new collection peers down on the landscape of Spain’s Almería peninsula. The German photographer is broadly interested in our impact on the earth and gears his practice toward the aerial, offering perspectives that illuminate the immense scale of human activity.
In The Greenhouse Series II, Hegen captures the abstract topographies of the world’s largest agricultural production center of its kind, which stretches across 360-square kilometers of rugged, mountainous terrain in the southern part of the country. More Continue reading

Share

Watch
Cheery Characters Enliven Vibrant, Whimsical Illustrations by Tania Yakunova
March 23, 2022

Ukrainian illustrator Tania Yakunova gravitates toward bold color palettes and clean lines to define her spirited characters. Set on monochromatic backdrops, her quirky scenes are tinged with whimsy and play with scale, surrounding the figures with low-hanging white stars, towering leaves, and oversized art supplies. Many of the Kyiv-based illustrator’s works involve a mix of digital and analog sketching with the final pieces rendered in paint.
In recent weeks, Yakunova has been creating a series of ceramics focused on mental health, alongside illustrations responding to the ongoing war in Ukraine. More Continue reading

Share

Watch
Musicians Harmonize with Plants and Birds in Gaspart’s Soothing Digital Illustrations
February 28, 2022

Twined with leafy vines, Gaspart’s series of digital illustrations titled Birds, Plants & Music emits the calming, lyrical presence we need right now. The collection, which was inspired by research detailing the effects of melodies and other audible compositions on vegetation, centers on lone instrumentalists with exaggerated limbs and gargantuan feet. Each casually sits on the ground or curls forward in a crouch to pluck the strings of an upright bass and buzz into a trumpet. More Continue reading

Share

Watch