A mandala is a spiritual and ritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism representing the universe. Kathy Klein is an Arizona-based artist who loves creating flower mandalas in the great outdoors. She calls the pieces ‘danmalas’ which means ‘the giver of garlands’ in Sanskrit. Her ephemeral installations are photographed and then left to be discovered by others. Her creative process involves getting into a meditative state and then gathering flowers and other natural objects while waiting for inspiration to strike. Her danmalas are reflections which points towards life’s abundance and reminds us all to listen to the unheard voice of nature.
Mr. Finch is an autodidact whose specialty is creating woodland flora and fauna out of bits and pieces of ‘found objects’. He painstakingly crafts his work in a studio full of glass jars, books, and naughty cats. Mr. Finch lives and works in Yorkshire in close proximity to rolling hills and mossy woods where he gathers inspiration for his creations. He said: “It’s a joy to hunt for things for my work…the lost, found and forgotten all have places in what I make. Most of my pieces use recycled materials, not only as an ethical statement, but I believe they add more authenticity and charm. Velvet curtains from an old hotel, a threadbare wedding dress and a vintage apron become birds and beasts, looking for new owners and adventures to have. Storytelling creatures for people who are also a little lost, found and forgotten…”
Kilian Schoenberger, one of the finest contemporary landscape photographers. He recently went on a mission to find as many hidden places on earth that resembles the settings of “The Tales of the Brother’s Grimm”. He scoured most of Middle Europe just to find those perfect spots imbued with a sense of mystery and unseen power. His task no mean feat by itself, is made even more challenging by the fact that Kilian is actually colorblind. He has deuteranopia, a condition wherein the colors green and red are indistinguishable. When asked about his creative process, he said: “Others are doing yoga – I am ascending mountains in the darkness of the night. Immersing in my own tranquil world step by step. The stoic rhythm of hiking through the gloom – the gently looming dawn and finally the satisfying moment when I reach my final location.“
According to Wikipedia (and who doesn’t trust Wikipedia?), Bansky is “a pseudonymous England-based graffiti artist, political activist, film director, and painter.” The fact that he merits a Wikipedia article is an indication of how famous Bansky has become. His worked has inspired many an artist to take their work to the streets. Nick Stern, a photographer, has even made a series of photographs mimicking his work. Fame hasn’t made him any easier to track down as his real identity remains a mystery. Bansky’s work is plastered all across Great Britain, many of them since painted over. In a recent interview, he was asked if he would like to donate a picture to charity to which he replied: “What are you? Blind? In which case maybe. I mostly support projects working to restore sight and prevent eye disease. Or ‘expanding the market’ as you might call it.”
Lesley Ann Ercolano has managed to capture these amazing shots without the help of any intensive post-processing or fancy equipment. Instead, she embraces the Scout’s motto: “Be Prepared”. She is almost never without her camera, always ready to capture the unusual, the unlikely, and the seemingly impossible. She lives in Edinburgh and this is where she captures most of her shots. She said: “The advantages of living in such a fantastic city like Edinburgh are the mix of old and new. History, mystery and a little madness come together to create some magic which is what I love the most.”
Stephen Emerson was born in Northern Ireland. I suppose it helps that he can point his camera pretty much anywhere and get a great shot. Nevertheless, a lousy photographer still won’t be able to capture these landscapes with the same brilliance. Stephen likes to “experiment with different ways of creating an image to give it a air of mystery”. His loves shooting at dusk and at night to create a dramatic mood.
Rob Kesseler merged art and science when he took these amazingly detailed photographs of microscopic flora. The technique in capturing these amazing shots is a bit more complicated than just pointing the lens and pressing the shutter button. First, the plant material was given a fine coating of gold and photographed with a scanning electron microscope. Next, the images were treated with washes and layers of color to bring out the each detail. The results looked a lot like a viruses but they’re actually just pollen, seed, and fruit.
Photographer Nelleke Pieters has a thing for the mystery of the deep, dark woods. Most, if not all, of her shots are of seldom used paths amidst the trees. Tracks surrounded by so much greenery on both sides it’s basically a tunnel. Twilight, dusk, and dawn are her favorite time of the day to take pictures, capturing the mystic mood of the forest.
Some artists can take expressive art to an almost surreal level. Adam Martinakis is one of them. With 3d digital renders of sculptures with a somewhat disturbing yet subtle feel. Each piece definitely creates a mysterious story that is left to the viewer’s level of creativity in imagination. There is such an odd force of attraction and wonder that doesn’t leave right after one looks away from the artwork.
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