Shane McAdams makes works about the materials that create art. In this series, Ball Point Pen, McAdams analyses the physical properties of that tool. As McAdams states, the tools’ “limits are stretched by subjecting them to non-traditional applications, generating structures whose complexity belies the elegance of their creation.” McAdams attempts to show the forces that sculpt nature and our lives, such as gravity in this case, and by doing so focuses on the materiality of art.
[Photo Friday is a weekly column on Art & Science Journal. To submit your work, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org]
Jocelyn Catterson is just finishing up high school but already her photographs are showing the eye of a pro. In the fall she’s going to be going to school for environmental photojournalism at the University of Montana and I couldn’t think of a more fitting program for her. Her photos involve a fascination with nature. Growing up in Colorado the natural world inspires her and she spends as much time outdoors as she can. Her photographs are really truthful in terms of the way they are without pretense and appear to be a look into the everyday life of a beautiful world.
But back to her photos. She enjoys using film and especially the aspect of working in a darkroom and the way film receives light. As she states “it’s much more hands-on and authentic to me than digital photography.” I completely agree! Her photos have that diary feel because of the use of film For the past year or two she has been using her grandpa’s old Canon Rebel 2000 but she’s not against a little digital. “I do edit my photos: I try to take out a lot of the scratches on the photos after I scan in the negatives, and maybe lighten up areas that turned out darker than they were suppose to. That’s all.” Jocelyn just finished up a project called “This Wind”, which is a handmade, multi-media book that is currently on display at her school. It has writing, paintings, and tons of photographs all put together in about 50 pages. Essentially it’s a product of her love for nature. She’s also working on a project called “Saving the Outdoor Lab,” which is a project to bring awareness to the recent suspension of the Outdoor Laboratory School in her county and hopefully help to raise money so that the school may continue to run in the future. To check out Jocelyn’s artwork and her current project be sure to check out her website by clicking here.
Anna Garforth makes all-natural graffiti, and by that I mean she makes it with moss. Such a brilliant idea, and she has even gives us the secrets on how to make your own.
"Here’s how, in your blender, combine:
- One can of cheap beer or 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- a few handfuls of moss
- one teaspoon of sugar
Blend until the mixture is smooth, and you’re ready to get painting! You can use a brush or paint your moss onto concrete walls, rocks, or brick. Mist the moss once a day to help it thrive, and soon your green graffiti will take hold!”
In her porcelain creations, Kate MacDowell critiques the way we deal with nature. As she states, “These pieces are in part responses to environmental stresses including climate change, toxic pollution, and gm crops.” The first thing that sticks out when one looks at MacDowell’s work is the reference to animal testing. With ears on rats and fetuses within frogs MacDowell works present how messed up this relationship between man and nature can get. As MacDowell discusses this tenuous position, “In each case the union between man and nature is shown to be one of friction and discomfort with the disturbing implication that we too are vulnerable to being victimized by our destructive practices.” The references to the horrors of Holocaust testing only further this vein.
Not only are MacDowell’s pieces meaningful, they are finely crafted. As MacDowell describes the process, “I had sculpt each piece out of porcelain, often building a solid form and then hollowing it out. Smaller forms are built petal by petal, brach by branch and allow me the change to get immersed in close study of the structure of a blossom or a bee.” Each detail is drawn out with precision. As the artist terms this focus,” [her works are] a painstaking record of endangered natural forms and a commentary on our own culpability.”
Erika Altosaar, a studio art major at Concordia University in Montreal, makes art that deals with the line drawn between sexuality, intimacy and eroticism. In her most recent publication, published by Brown Griffin, we see Altosaar’s drawings of human hair. In L’Étranger (the stranger) we see just that; characters we cannot recognize because they have no faces. This publication reveals the character that is expose through hair, and is beautifully done to boot!
Philip Govedare paints charged landscapes that with their use of colour are full of drama. As Govedare describes his work, “My work is both a response to and an interpretation of the world, but it also imparts sentiments through projection that comes from a perspective of anxiety about the condition of landscape and nature in our world today. I endeavor to create a fictional response to an observed phenomenon. A metaphor that is infused with a blend of celebration, apprehension, and doubt about our place in the natural world. In this manner my work alludes to the past and simultaneously projects into the future.”
With his focus on our relationship to nature, Govedare demonstrates the implications of use, development and ownership. As Govedare discusses this relationship he states, “The transformation of land and sky through industry and enterprise may be deliberate, or simply the unintended consequence of the human impact on a fragile environment.” In all cases, what Govedare creates are landscapes of colour and awe.
Pery Burge takes photographs of ink in water moving in different kinds of flows. Burge invokes natural processes, and then works with them to create artworks. When asked about the inspiration for her works, Burge states “With the ink, I was looking for different ways in which I could get it to move by itself without my direct interventions. A moving substance (water) provided the basis for much experimentation.”
Usually we cannot see the flows of water, but Burge shows us its natural movements, and makes them colourful. As Burge states, “I want to reveal the underlying power of the dynamic image guided by unseen forces.” In the future, Burge states that she wants to collaborate with scientists in order to explore all aspects of fluid flow. “I also wish to combine my new ‘lightscapes’ with my fluid flow work, and it would be great to talk about the technical aspects of of it in detail with experts on optics. My work straddles the disciplines of art and science, and I feel there is great potential for exploration.”
[Photo Friday is a weekly column on Art & Science Journal. To submit your photos email email@example.com]
Simen Johan’s ongoing project Until the Kingdom Comes is a series of unsettling photos that lie between reality, fantasy and horror. The images look too perfect, and this perfection creates an uncanny feeling in viewers; we see this as reality but something is wrong. Instinctually we know that these images cannot be real. In this project Johan takes photographs of animals and situates them into contrasting environments. The tension of natural versus the artificial runs throughout the series and is what gives it power as an artwork.
By bringing these contrasting elements together, Johan shows a dystopian vision. As humans we are constantly seeking for perfection, but Johan demonstrates that maybe this isn’t what we should be aiming for. Perfection can be uncomfortable.
Artist Martin Klimas’s most recent project involves painting with sound. The New York Times compared his works to a 3-D version of Jackson Pollock, but instead of throwing paint on a canvas, it’s paint flying in the air. What was involved was putting a variety of coloured paints on a speaker and then turning the sound way up. The speed at which these shots were taken is insane; a shutter speed of 1/7000th of a second.