Build a Miniature Hangout with a DIY Wooden Treehouse Kit
September 15, 2020

A new DIY kit transforms any ordinary houseplant into a miniature haven complete with mood lighting. Created by Australia-based British designer Lars Wijers, Tiny Treehouses feature multiple configurations, from an ornate gazebo to a multi-roofed structure resembling tropical architecture. Each is equipped with LED lights (batteries included!) and manufactured to hang from a branch or rest on a flat surface.
Back the project on Kickstarter—$1 from every treehouse will be donated to restoring Australian forests—and follow Tiny Treehouses on Instagram for updates on designs and buying options. More Continue reading

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In a Celebratory Series, Photographer Toby Coulson Documents the Eccentric Fashions of Designer Oumou Sy
August 19, 2020

When photographer Toby Coulson met iconic Senegalese fashion designer Oumou Sy in Dakar, they decided to photograph some of her most distinctive garments. “The city has an amazing energy especially as the sun goes down. I thought it would be an amazing accompaniment to Oumou Sy’s theatrical and outlandish couture pieces,” Coulson shares with Colossal. Together, they observed the area for a few days to chose spots and time the sunlight.
The result is a captivating series of photographs, which were originally published in Document Journal,  that capture the myriad textures and patterns of Sy’s unorthodox designs: A woven accessory envelops a model, lining her arms, head, and torso in circular sculptural forms. More Continue reading

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Six Students Design Solar-Powered Lamps From Collagen, Black Beans, and Agave Plants
June 1, 2020

A 2019 study notes that 1.8 million residents of Mexico live without electricity, while some sources say an additional five million have limited access. In an effort to provide affordable, sustainable solar power, six students from the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey have designed lamps that can be constructed easily with materials commonly found throughout Mexico’s rural areas. Using wicker, agave plants, coconut bark, adobe, collagen, and black beans, the designers have created hand-held vessels powered by reusable solar cells and LED lights. More Continue reading

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Living Chia Germinates from Clothing Abandoned on a Wash Line by Artist Bea Fremderman
May 14, 2020

Concerned with the ongoing climate crisis, Queens-based artist Bea Fremderman imagines an apocalyptic world of the not-so-distant future. Her living sculptures of everyday objects and clothing appear to have been abandoned suddenly, allowing nature to take over as quickly as humans left. “I think of them as relics of the future,” she told Cultured in 2019. “With my work, it’s not doomsday. It’s about starting over, dealing with what we have, and trying to make anew with what we know.”
Fremderman plants chia seeds among pant legs, hoodies, and a lone sock that crawl over the apparel and envelop it in a thick carpet. More Continue reading

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Homegrown Botanics Collaged into Conflict-Ridden Figures by Artist Meggan Joy
May 11, 2020

For Meggan Joy to begin creating her flowery assemblages, she first has to plant the seeds. The Seattle-based artist cultivates a plot in a community garden throughout the summer months, tending to each fern and vibrant petal. Once her patch is in full bloom, she captures thousands of individual photographs of her rooted plants before combining them into allegorical digital collages of the female body. Birds, butterflies, and other visitors to her garden make an appearance, as well. More Continue reading

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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 Horse Struggles to Exist in a Ridiculous New Animation by AJ Jeffries
March 29, 2020

Norwich-based 3D illustrator and animator AJ Jeffries released a new animation that feels particularly relevant to modern life. Simply described as a story about “a horse, struggling to exist,” the short film chronicles the evolution of a pink animal as it morphs from a blob into a fully realized mare. Its body bends and contorts—at one point, its neck even shoots up to the sky, killing a purple bird—before it gets some encouragement from nearby plants and happily dances away. 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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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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