For her 2011 series Come With Me, UK-based artist Ellie Davies (previously) constructed pathways through the New Forest in the South of England where she grew up. The pathways, built from wool, powder, paint, and mounds of dirt, follow the natural curvature of the trees and create a weaving line through space. The installations are each created with an intuitive spontaneity, and incorporate the labor as a central concept to the work. Davies carefully cleans up all the materials after she documents each trail. The photographer recently had a solo exhibition titled Into the Woods with A. galerie in Brussels. You can see more of her forest-based installations and digital compositions on her website and Facebook. (via Ignant)
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Using lengths of colored nylon rope, installation artist Janaina Mello Landini (previously) creates complicated networks of intertwining threads. The unwound rope ends tangle and reach in a giant game of Twister, resulting in sculptural installations that bring to mind the natural patterns found in neural networks, blood vessels, and tree roots. One recent piece, Ciclotrama 50, is a permanent installation at Foundation Carmignac, a French island museum that opened this spring. You can explore more of Landini’s portfolio on her website and Instagram.
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Twenty years ago, the fortress city of Carcassonne in southern France was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In celebration of the important anniversary, Swiss artist Felice Varini (previously) was commissioned by France’s Centre des Monuments Nationaux to install a massive illusion of concentric yellow circles on the city’s border. The installation, titled “Concentric Concentric,” was installed this spring and will remain up through September, 2018.
Although at first glance the striking yellow marks appear to be painted directly on the surface of the ancient stones—a somewhat alarming gesture for a declared historic site—the circles are actually very thin pieces of colored aluminum, which were carefully adhered to the city’s walls and turrets by local art students. Varini’s bold installation has garnered quite a bit of attention, not all of it positive. In a video interview, included below, the artist explains how he conceived of this particular work. You can see more of his colorful illusions on Facebook. (via Arrested Motion)
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Brazilian Conceptual artist Ernesto Neto manifests sensorial experiences in highly trafficked public spaces, encouraging passersby to slow down their everyday movements to interact with, smell, and relax in his temporary installations. His most recent work was created in partnership with the Fondation Beyeler in the concourse of Zurich’s main train station. The 65-foot green and orange work, GaiaMotherTree, extends to the ceiling, while its base creates a temporary oasis in the middle of the bustling station.
The sculpture was created with a finger-crocheting technique that took 27 people several weeks to complete. The surface of the structure is fragile, yet like all of his installations, Neto encourages visitors to touch and experience their physical forms. In addition to activating touch, he has also hung over 1300 pounds of aromatic ground spices such as turmeric, cloves, cumin, and black pepper in bags that surround and counterbalance GaiaMotherTree. These smells add to a feeling of relaxation which Neto hopes serves as a respite for visiting travelers.
The work is inspired by a spiritual connection with nature practiced by the Huni Kuin, members of an indigenous community in the Amazon region of Brazil. Neto has been working closely with the group since 2013, and their values, sense of community, and craft has been a large influence into his recent practice. “This work is all about intimacy,” Neto explains in a short video that explores the process below. GaiaMotherTree will be on display in Zurich Main station through July 29, 2018. You can see a list of public programming associated with the installation on Fondation Beyeler’s website. (via Designboom)
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Arthur-Louis Ignoré, also known as Ali, paints white patterned carpets on public sidewalks and passageways in cities across the world, including recent installations throughout France and Finland. The works are inspired by both geometric and botanical patterns found in ancient ornamentation from a wide range of cultural contexts. By combining the patterns into public works, he showcases the diversity found in our modern cities while providing a domestic aesthetic that contrasts the often brutalist feel of urban environments.
Currently the artist lives in Rennes, France, where a few years ago he painted his largest installation to date. The 10,000-square-foot mandala was painted on the roof of the Social Welfare Family Allowance building, and visually created links between works Ali produced in both Montreal and New York City. You can see more of his painted carpet installations on Instagram and Behance.
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In response to the Bruges Triennial’s 2018 theme “Liquid City,” Brooklyn-based architecture and design firm STUDIOKCA designed a 38-foot-tall sculptural whale composed of over five tons of plastic pulled from the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. The studio, led by Jason Klimoski and Lesley Chang, wanted to address how cities from across the globe are contributing to the waste that has piled up in our oceans—the discarded plastic that is washing up on our shores and endangering and killing marine life.
Skyscraper contains nearly 4,000-square-feet of plastic waste, which is just a dent in the 150 million tons of plastic that currently circulates in our seas. STUDIOKCA worked with the Hawaii Wildlife Fund to coordinate several beach clean-ups, which is how the team found most of the plastic for the 10,000-pound whale.
“Right now there is 150 million tons of plastic swimming in the ocean, our oceans, the oceans we share,” says Klimoski in a video created about the project. “Pound for pound that is more plastic waste swimming in the ocean than there is whales. So an opportunity like this to show the type of plastic and the amount of plastic that ends up in our oceans is really important.”
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Starting in 2013, Los Angeles-based conceptual artist Glenn Kaino has had the opportunity to meet and collaborate with a man whose act of protest had long inspired him. “Bridge” is Kaino’s 100-foot long construction featuring two hundred casts of former American track and field runner and Olympic gold medalist Tommie Smith’s arm, which he raised as a human rights salute during the National Anthem after taking gold at the 1968 Summer Olympics. Kaino’s work will be installed as a part of a larger exhibition at the High Museum in Atlanta in fall 2018. We spoke with the artist to learn more about how his collaboration with Smith came to be.
On the podium of the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico, African American medalists Tommie Smith and John Carlos went from being top-performing athletes representing the United States to legendary activists with a simple yet powerful gesture. The photograph of Smith and Carlos with their heads lowered and their leather-clad fists raised is one of the most iconic images of the 20th century, and Kaino tells Colossal that it is one that he used to have taped to the side of his iMac.
A friend of Kaino’s noticed the picture and referred to Tommie as “Coach Smith,” revealing that he knew the former athlete from his days as track coach. The friend set up the meeting, and Kaino soon found himself at Coach Smith’s home in Atlanta, watching tape of the race in slow motion as Tommie broke it down almost frame by frame. “I didn’t have a pitch,” Kaino said of the way he finally approached the topic of collaboration with the gold medalist and his wife, “but I did have an observation.” He noticed that Tommie Smith’s home was like a “time bubble,” with memorabilia and references to his career and to his most famous moment. Kaino says that as someone who was born after the salute, the image has always been symbolic, but for the Smiths it was personal. “You shook my hand with that arm, you brush your teeth with that arm,” he said to Tommie.
Through the conversation, Kaino convinced Tommie to collaborate on a project that would remove the icon (the arm) from his body and help him see the salute the way that others do. Back in Los Angeles, after experimenting with what Kaino believes to have been the arm of an Aquaman figure, they got to work casting Smith’s arm and clenched fist. He used the cast to create hundreds of fiberglass arms, which he then painted gold and hung from wires to form, according to the artist’s website, “a golden path leading forward from the present but connected to the past, a spectacular reconciliation of a historic record, an individual memory, and a public symbol all renegotiated in an infrastructure of time to creates stories of the now.”
As for connecting the past and present, it is interesting to consider Kaino’s work and Smith’s salute as it relates to Black athletes today, like Colin Kaepernick, who are criticized for publicly protesting similar issues 50 years later. Kaino tells Colossal that he is working on a documentary to tell Smith’s story that goes deeper than the one image that everyone knows. For those who want to see “Bridge” in person, the exhibition, titled With Drawn Arms: Glenn Kaino and Tommie Smith, opens in Atlanta, Georgia at the High Museum on September 29, 2018. (via Artnet)
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Editor's Picks: Sculpture
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