Tag Archives: Colossal Blog

Goodbye, Autumn

After the dipping temperatures this week in England, I think we might have truly kissed autumn goodbye. Tomorrow, the beginning of December definitely feels like it is ushering in winter with its very presence.

I came across an article today, while blog reading that seemed to capture the fleeting nature of autumn. The initial fleeting beauty that slowly ebbs away toward the bleakness and bareness of winter. It was produced by filmmaker Jan van IJken who captured a murmuration on film between 2014 and 2015 in the Netherlands.

I’m completely fascinated by murmurations and I hope that I am lucky enough to one day see one in person. I shared another video about them way, way back in 2011. The noise in Jan van IJken’s film is almost deafening in places. It is like the almighty roar of waves crashing onto a beach. Incredible!

{Found via This is Colossal}

A Japanese Kokeshi Doll

I know that my posting has been a bit sporadic as of late. My computer is dying a slow and very painful death. The screen begins to flash as if its possessed and the keyboard has now decided to stop working among other things, so Mr. Michie is very kindly sharing his macbook with me in the meantime.

In attempting to get caught up with my blog reading list this morning, I saw this post on Colossal. I was mesmerised. More than ever before, the art of creating something by hand should be valued. In Japan, Yasuo Okazaki carries on the tradition of handcrafting Kokeshi Dolls that was taught to him by his father. Beautiful.

{Original post found on Colossal}

Springing Forward

Tyrus Wong Bambi 1

Last night we pushed our clocks forward and don’t ask me why 1 hour has made such a difference to our day, but it has. We are like zombies today! This weekend, has truly felt Spring like. We went for a long walk in Regent’s Park yesterday and you could definitely tell that the sunshine had drawn everyone outside to play. Living in England you have to soak up the sun every chance you get! If the sun has come out to play you better take advantage of it for you don’t know when it will be back!

The baby ducklings were out and we watched them with their mamas paddle around in the lake. The trees were full of blossoms and the bulbs were in full bloom, the sky was a perfect robin’s egg blue and the sunshine streamed down through the tree branches. In essence, it felt like Spring. Springtime makes me think of Bambi. I recently read a beautiful post on the Colossal Blog about the highly talented Tyrus Wong.

Born in China in 1910, his family emigrated to the United States when he was 9 years old. His teachers noticed his artistic talent and continued to encourage and nurture it. Which eventually led to a career in Hollywood. From 1938 – 1941 he worked for Disney as an inspirational sketch artist. It was his pastel sketches of the forest that served as the inspiration for Bambi.

Tyrus Wong Bambi 2 Tyrus Wong Bambi 3

All artists put their own spin on their work. I believe that you can see the artistic influence of his Chinese heritage within his work. Notice how the boughs of the tree are drawn and the rocks are placed. It is almost as if he has drawn a highly stylized Oriental garden design. I know it appears more Japanese in style than Chinese, but I can see a fusion of Asian culture and design.

Tyrus Wong Bambi 4

Today Mr. Wong, still lives in California. He is 103 years old. The artists that worked for Disney past and present never cease to amaze me. But for me, their is a nostalgia to the older artists, the likes of Mary BlairEyvind Earle and Tyrus Wong. There is magic in their drawings.

To read the full article on Colossal click HERE.

Al Pioppi

pioppi-5As I was perusing through my blog reading list last night, I saw a post on Colossal that peaked my interest. Maybe it was because this restaurant opened on my Birthday many moons ago, or maybe it is because my family is part Italian and hearing this little man named Bruno spoke to me. He has spent the past 40 years creating a small amusement park alongside his restaurant in the woods. It is art.

pioppi-2 pioppi-3 pioppi-4

There is something to be said for Italians, there is an ingenuity there that is all there own. My grandfather can look at something and see how to fix the problem, or design something that will do what he wants, my Dad has that same gift. I call it a gift, because it is, not everyone has the “eye” to see the solution, to see how it can be improved, or to see how it could be created in the first place.

This story was incredibly charming, Bruno is quite the doll. Enjoy!

On June 15, 1969 in Battaglia, Italy a man named Bruno bought a few jugs of wine, some sausages and a few other items and set up a tiny food stand underneath a tree to see if anyone would show up. By the end of the day he had sold almost everything and the family restaurant, Ai Pioppi, was born. The next month he had a chance encounter with a blacksmith who didn’t have time to make a few hooks for some chains. Bruno decided he would learn to weld himself and enjoyed it so much he began to dream up small rides he could build to entice new customers to Ai Pioppi. It turned out to be brilliantly successful.

Now forty years later, the forest around the restaurant is packed with swings, multi-story slides, seesaws, gyroscopes, tilt-a-whirls, and bizarre kinetic roller-coasters for adults and children. In this artfully filmed 10-minute documentary by a team over at Fabrica, we get the chance to meet Bruno, see many of his rides in action, and learn a bit about his philosophy on existence and death.

For this post I also included a few photos courtesy Oriol Ferrer Mesià who visited Ai Pioppi in 2011 with several friends. You can see many more shots here and here.

{images and the statements made after the film have been taken from the Colossal post}

Out of the Dust

I found this short film to be thought provoking, as I have often watched the students with their sketchbooks. They are very precious with them. They don’t want to make a mistake; they want everything to look perfect. But, that is not what a sketchbook is for. The very essence of “sketch” is not about perfection. Your sketchbook exists to get it out, to rough it out, hash it out, and rip it out, to see your idea evolve.

I am guilty of it as well.  Oh, the power of a blank page. Sometimes it is simply that, a blank page waiting to be filled and at other times it is a mine field. I am nervous to take my first step in case it goes wrong.

So, the very idea of creating something in a sense that is ethereal, appealed to me. It takes the edge away, you make a mistake you erase it, you don’t worry about perfection, because it won’t be there forever, it is just about the process and that is just if not more at times as important as the final piece.

This is Colossal Peter Han Chalk 1 This is Colossal Peter Han Chalk 2I first read this article on Colossal

Learn more about Peter Han

Rebound

Long Bin Chen Buddha

Long Bin Chen

While going through the blogs I read, I had a couple of posts from Colossal to catch up on. I love this blog. It always has such interesting art. It is an extremely popular site and very well read. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the title of one of his current posts. I saw the words: Halsey Institute and I blinked and I blinked again.

The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art is a superb gallery situated within The College of Charleston, my alma mater. I interned at The Halsey Gallery before moving on to intern at The Gibbes Museum of Art. It is a space that has a special place in my heart. I had the opportunity among other things to hang work for exhibitions and work alongside artists, it was a very interesting insight into the museum world.

They were featured on Colossal for a new exhibition that is currently running there. It is called Rebound: Dissections and Excavations in Book Art. It looks stunning. The Halsey Institute is well known but to see it on such a big Art site, pleased me to no end for them! I only wish I was at home to go and see it myself and then I would be heading downtown for some good iced tea and a little stroll!

Francesca Pastine ArtForum

Francesca Pastine

Guy Laramee Cave

Guy Laramee

Guy Laramee Ocean

Guy Laramee

Brian Dettmer

Brian Dettmer

Colossal’s write up:

The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston in South Carolina recently opened an immense exhibition featuring five contemporary artists who create sculptures and installations using various books and printed materials. Reboundfeatures new works by Guy LarameeLong Bin ChenFrancesca PastineDoug Beube, and Brian Dettmer. You can see many more exhibition views on the Hasley Institute’s website. The show runs through July 6, 2013.

{images and small write up was taken from the Colossal website}

Gummi Bears

Gummi Bears in all their edible and watchable glory must be in the air this week as not only did I see the extremely talented Alicia Keys sing this on Jimmy Fallon:

I also saw this “candelier” on the Colossal Blog site:

Compiled with over 3,000 acrylic Gummi Bears this chandelier made by Kevin Champeny, is pretty wacky. You would have to have the right house for it to fit in, I know, but there is just something extraordinary about this glowing piece of “art”.

Are We There Yet?

Maybe it is because we had Monday off last week for the May Bank Holiday, thus making the week shorter? Or, maybe it is because Mr. Michie has been sick most of the weekend and we are a house running on little sleep? But, this morning as I washed my hair, I excitedly though, hooray! Only two more days to go and it is the weekend.

Once, I washed the suds out of my hair, I realized, that I was blinded by soap and sleep and it was actually only Tuesday and not Wednesday as I had believed 10 seconds before. How did that happen?

I was saddened by the thought that it was only Tuesday and in case your week is shaping up to be as long as mine, I thought I would share with you a few things that brightened my day, I hope they brighten yours:

Happy 82nd Birthday to Jasper Johns! One of my favorite artists and one of the best papers I ever wrote in college was about him.

This banana chocolate smoothie, found at Annie’s Eats, looks scrumptious:

This “beached” whale by the Argentinean sculptor Adrian Villar Rojas, he looks magical:

 

This image by the artist Chris Turnham, it reminded me of older Disney drawings, or something that had been created for “UP”:

Well, tomorrow it will be Wednesday and then we will only have 2 more days to go and then it is the weekend again.

A Bonsai Tree House

Maybe it is because I am a child of the 80’s, I grew up watching the Karate Kid and seeing Mr. Miyagi carefully tend to his bonsai trees, or maybe it is because I love all things miniature, or maybe the answer is simply because gardening is in my blood and I have a thing for trees, but the art of bonsai has always fascinated me.

I spotted these today while reading one of my favorite artsy blogs, Colossal. I think they are unbelievably beautiful, artful, imaginative and if I was the size of Goose Girl & Foxy they would be the perfect little hideaway.

Created through a variety of materials they come out of the imagination of Japanese artist Takanori Aiba. Who has combined his talent and knowledge of labyrinth design and architecture to manipulate the trees and bring these scenes to life.