Anna Barlow is a British Artist with a fondness for sweet treats. She said: “I am fascinated by the way we eat food, especially by the rituals around celebrational or indulgent treats that have developed . . . I have focused on ice cream as it is such a momentary and yet memorable treat that most of us have experienced and therefore can evoke memories of sensations and tastes, as well as prompt a fantasy of desired indulgences.” Her sculptures are made of high fired, glazed porcelain. The result is realistic almost to the point of being edible. Anna’s goal of achieving “visual edibility” has certainly been met with this series of sculptures.
The Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo recently commissioned Torafu Architects to design a ‘Haunted House’. There was also a special interactive exhibit for children where they can scare and get scared. The artists at Torafu Architects contsructed a seemingly ordinary art gallery corridor. It had the usual paintings on the walls and even a tired gentleman sitting in the far end. A second look at the said gentleman will reveal that his hat is floating because his head is missing. The paintings themselves turn out to be on the creepy side, what with eyes following you and even frames you can climb into. Torafu Architects wanted to “Engage people more actively while stimulating their imagination. They also want to challenge perspectives and norms and break the rules as children are encouraged to run, shout and touch.”
With this creepy installation, I’ll say they achieved their goal.
Tang Chiew Ling is a graphic designer and illustrator from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Her series “Fashion in Leaf” has captured the interest of fashion aficionados the world over with its minimalistic approach and ecological theme. Tang intentionally used inconspicuous and unattractive leaves to create something fun and fashionable. Most of the leaves she used were from her mom’s garden. Strategically placed, the leaves served as classy evening gowns to the models she drew on paper. Tang is one of those rare artists who can turn common, everyday objects into artistic creations.
Anastassia Ellias is a Paris-based illustrator and sculptor who unleashed her creativity on helpless toilet paper rolls. Recently, she assembles 67 pf her finest works and turned the whole collection into a book entitled “Rouleaux”. Anastassia created the earth-friendly dioramas by carefully cutting-out the scenes from brown paper and sticking them inside the used toilet paper rolls. A task which is similar to building a ship inside a bottle. Unlike ship-building, it only takes Anastassia a few hours to complete a roll.
Liza Lou is really into glass beads. She spent five years sticking them into every conceivable surface of a life-sized kitchen. Liza painstakingly placed each one of those glass beads with a pair of tweezers, making sure that the color of the glass bead matched the surface of the object. Everything in the kitchen – curtains, sink, stove, floor, cereal – is smothered in beads. Her work is inspired by traditional African bead crafts, which is still very much alive today. Liza is currently based in South Africa.
This house was designed for a special exhibition in Germany and is open to the public for visiting. It is the brainchild of Klaudiusz Golos and Sebastian Mikiciuk who aptly named it “The world stands on its head”. The Cape Cod-style, 120-meter-square house is built with a steel frame to withstand its awkward architecture. Everything inside it is upside-down. Only the stairs were spared to enable people to get to the second floor. It still stands in Trassenheide, a German town on the Baltic Sea island of Usedom.
Clare Conway created these realistic typewritten ‘paper’ using porcelain. Her sculptures are incredibly detailed with pieces of porcelain ‘paper’ creatively crumpled, shredded, and thrown into the wastebasket. In the readable documents, Clare gives out details of her personal life in the typewritten documents. The trick is that she intentionally censors a word here and there, arousing the curiosity of her audience. The censorship is ‘partly a revolt against the increasingly blurred line between public and private information in our current society due to social media platforms’.
Sue Beatrice is the founder of All Natural Arts. Originally, she started it as a venue for selling her creations. She specializes in creating lovely pieces of art from antique pocket watches, sea glass, jewelry pieces, stones, and other found pieces. Her work has a touch of steampunk in it with a great big dash of whimsy. According to her site: “Combining talent and imagination with a love of nature, the designs are created with the environment in mind. Recycled, upcycled and repurposed objects are combined with natural elements into unique, Earth-friendly and artistic items sensitive to the limits of our natural resources.”
Takashi Amano was born in Niigata, Japan in 1954. He is an internationally known landscape photographer who visited pristine forests in Japan as well as the untouched tropical rainforests of Borneo, Amazon, and West Africa. He introduced the Japanese nature style into aquascaping in the 1980s and the hobby hasn’t been the same since. Amano incorporated the Japanese gardening concept Wabi Sabi into his planted tanks, creating a harmonious blend of plants, driftwood and rocks. Such is his influence over the aquascaping world that he even has a species of freshwater shrimps named after him! He also founded Aqua Design Amano (ADA) – which features a line of products geared towards aquascaping.
These miniature office scenes are creations of People Too. Every little detail is painstakingly cut-out from sheets of colored paper. Even the people in the scenes are made of paper. While one might reasonably expect them to be two-dimensional, the artists took great pains to give them substance and volume. I love the fact that they faithfully recreated calendars, computers, memos, post-its, and even overflowing trash bins to give their scenes an authentic feel. The artistic duo behind People Too are Alexei Lyapunov and Lena Ehrlich.