‘Dead parrot’ installed in London

Dead parrotA giant dead parrot was installed in London last week to celebrate the last Monty Python show.

The 50 foot fibreglass sculpture was a tribute to Monty Python’s famous ‘dead parrot’ sketch and was placed near Tower Bridge in the run-up to the last show.

The sculpture took more than two months to complete; lead sculptor Iain Prendergast said: “The key challenge for us was capturing the comedy value of the dead parrot, keeping the realism of the bird whilst also adding touches like the bloodshot, stunned eyes.”

The parrot was delivered to the O2 Arena for the final performance of Monty Python’s ‘Live (mostly)’ farewell show on Sunday.

Find out more about the dead parrot here and tell us what you think of the stunt.

123: an innovative sculpture

123A unique sculpture called ‘123’ looks like different numbers, depending on the angle at which it is viewed.

The black stainless steel installation, by James Hopkins, is carefully arranged to ‘create slippages in perception’.

Therefore, as the viewer moves around the sculpture, it seems to morph into different shapes.

Watch the video below to see the sculpture transform and tell us what you think of the playful project.

Landed: an installation with a difference

A house seems to have mysteriously appeared, half-buried outside an Australian art gallery.

The totally black house is actually an installation called ‘Landed’ by artist Ian Strange, who has recreated his childhood home for the project.

‘Landed’, which contrasts 20th Century Australian suburbia with the Victorian Art Gallery of South Australia, alludes to the ‘sudden appearance of western culture’ on the continent.

Commissioned for the 2014 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, ‘Landed’ is on show outside the gallery until May 11th.

Take a closer look at the installation here and tell us what you think of it.

Brainwaves as a sculpture

Our brainwaves can now be mapped as three-dimensional models, thanks to an innovative art project.

Ion Popian uses electroencephalogram (EEG) sensors to measure brain activity, which is fed into a 3D modelling programme.

Changes in the fluid model are produced by different intensities of brain activity, but specific emotions, such as happiness, can’t be mapped on the model.

After editing the model, Popian creates a 3D-printed sculpture of the brainwaves; he now hopes to use his concept for architecture.

Find out more about the project, called ‘Mental Fabrications’, here and tell us what you think of the idea – would you map your brainwaves?

Epic geometric sandcastles

A sculptor’s assistant has spent his holiday working on some remarkable sandcastles, transforming a fun pastime into a work of art.

While relaxing on a beach in Hawaii, Calvin Seibert turned his hand to the local sand and occupied himself by building a series of intricate sculptures, which he photographed before the tide could wash them away.

On his Flickr album, Seibert says: “Building ‘sandcastles’ is a bit of a test. Nature will always be against you and time is always running out. Having to think fast and to bring it all together in the end is what I like about it. I am always adding just one more bit and if time allowed I wouldn’t stop.”

Seibert’s creations include a Tetris-inspired sculpture and an Esher-style castle; many of the sandcastles use strong, geometric shapes, which look even more striking amongst the sand.

Take a look at his gallery here and tell us if you think you could build a better sandcastle.

Artists giving books new life

Two artists are giving literature a new lease of life by transforming books into literal representations of their stories.

Jodi Harvey-Brown opens up books and uses their paper to sculpt striking landscapes, such as a beach and ocean for Stevenson’s ‘Treasure Island’ and a piano complete with pianist out of ‘The Lives of the Great Composers’ by Schonberg.

She said of her work: “I have always loved art, and I have always loved to read. Characters, that we care so much for, should come out of the pages to show us their stories. What we see in our imaginations as we read should be there for the world to see.”

Meanwhile, fellow artist Terry Border has created his ‘Wiry Limbs, Paper Backs’ series, which personifies books by giving them limbs and accessories that reflect their themes, such as a camera for Orwell’s ‘1984’ and a cot for ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ by Ira Levin.

He said: “A local used bookstore has a rack of old, mostly classic paperbacks that they sell for $2, and the covers are so great, and the used ones have so much personality, they begged to be made into something.”

Take a closer look at Harvey-Brown’s project here or Border’s work here and tell us what you think about these book sculptures.

Realistic horse sculptures made of driftwood

A British artist has fashioned brilliantly life-like horses out of nothing but driftwood fixed to steel skeletons.

From a trio of horses splashing through the sea to one equine figure ready to vault a log, the variety of the constructions created by James Doran-Webb is impressive.

One sculpture takes up to 3000 hours over six months to construct, as each piece is handpicked and chosen to fit the realistic shape of muscles and other body parts for the horse.

Due to their weight and their strong structure, the sculptures can hold four or five people on their back – Doran-Webb has even been photographed on his horses.

Doran-Webb has lived in the Philippines for over twenty years, where he collects his material and builds his sculptures. Due to the sheer demand for his work, he now employs a team of artists and driftwood gatherers.

Explaining that “the driftwood is very tactile and demands to be interacted with”, Doran-Webb also creates sculptures of different animals, such as birds and smaller mammals.

You can find out more about the artist and his work in the video below or take a look at the driftwood animals here. Tell us if you would have one of these sculptures in your home or garden.

Skyscraper candles set the design world alight

A Beijing-based designer has sculpted a range of candles resembling famous skyscrapers, such as the Empire State Building and the ‘Gherkin’.

Architect Naihan Li created the ‘Flammable’ series as a reaction against the trend for extravagant towers and wrote: ‘watching them burn down can be truly satisfying’.

Sold online, the white wax candles are over a foot tall and are to scale, carved to capture the unique look and shape of each iconic building.

Naihan is known for her collaborations with the famous artist Ai Weiwei and for her work at OMA .

Take a look at Naihan’s ‘Flammable’ gallery here and tell us if you would want these landmark candles in your home.

Amazingly detailed mini sculptures on the tips of pencils

Dalton Ghetti has created these amazingly detailed mini sculptures on the tips of pencils.

For 25 years he has challenged himself by trying to make things as small as possible. 

He has experimented sculpting with different materials but the latest innovation has been the miniature masterpieces on pencil tips.

Ghetti uses three basic tools to create his art: a razor blade, sewing needle and sculpting knife.

Ghetti works as a carpenter and refuses to sell any of his works; only his friends are privileged to receive them as gifts.

Take a look at his work here and tell us which piece is your favourite.

Giant sculpture reinvigorates Russian landscape

Russian artist Nikolay Polissky has created this tubular sculpture which dominates the rural Russian landscape it is set in.

The project is called ‘Beaubourg’, after the oldest part of Paris and owes its inspiration for the design to the city’s architecturally renowned Pompidou Centre.

The structure itself is made by using an ancient Russian technique of birch weaving to create a labyrinth of interwoven birch twigs.

As you can see the result is a 22 metre-high sculpture that is difficult to miss.

Find out more about this project here, and let us know what you think of this new architectural landmark. 

Monumental plant sculptures in Montréal

MIM 2013MIM2013MIM 2013The Mosaïcultures Internationales de Montréal, which opened on the 22nd June, is now in full bloom. The international competition is a showcase of the best horticultural art or mosaiculture in the world and runs until 29th September at the Montréal Botanical Garden.

The event features 22,000 plant species and cultivars distributed throughout 10 exhibition greenhouses and 30 themed gardens, producing some amazing sculptures and designs.

Here are a few of our favourites, with more being found on Flickr here.

Images from MIM.

T-Rex on the rampage in Paris

T-Rex in ParisT-Rex in ParisT-Rex in ParisFirst there were rubber ducks in the harbour, a fake beached whale in the Thames, and now Paris has a metal invader of the prehistoric variety.

Philippe Pasqua, a French artist, has designed and constructed a life-size replica of a T-Rex made from metal.

The chrome monster, which looms over the Seine River keeping a watchful eye over the Eiffel Tower, was constructed from 350 ‘bones’ and measures 3 metres by 6 metres.

The public installation is a combination of ancestry, modern times and shock. It will certainly pull in a crowd, as long as it doesn’t come to life.

Have a look at the images and let us know what you think of it.

Sculpture in the City

Love- Robert Indianna

Chapman BrothersAs you wander around the City of London you may notice some unusual objects have appeared. For the third year running Sculpture in the City is back.

Running from 20th June until May2014, the exhibition of sculptures from well known artists will be on display in the Eastern part of the Square Mile.

Broken up into nine installations, and featuring more sculptures than previous years, the art has relevance to where it is situated. For example, the iconic ‘Love’ by Robert Indianna in installed at the site of a 1993 IRA attack and a piece by Jake and Dinos Chapman, titled ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’, is placed in the shadows of the Gherkin.

The project is backed by the City of London Corporation, and is completely free. Find out more here.

Touchscreen gestures brought to life

Multi touch gesturesMulti touch gesturesMulti touch gesturesAn artist has decided to immortalise gestures used with touchscreen products. In her project ‘Multi-touch gestures‘, Gabriele Meldaikyte built 5 different sculptures that used the main gestures associated with touchscreen devices.

The gestures, which seem to be becoming second nature to most, including some babies trying to swipe a magazine to read it, are also seen as a signature of the Apple iPhone.

Gabriele believes that these will be completely different in 10 years time so wanted to immortalise them by translating this interface language of communication into 3D objects which mimic every multi-touch gesture.

Edinburgh’s giant balloon sculpture

PiscesPiscesPiscesA sculpture made completely of balloons has been unveiled as part of the Edinburgh International Science Festival at the National Museum of Scotland.

The piece was designed and built by American artist Jason Hackenwerth, who is known for his organic and biological forms made from latex balloons.

The sculpture, titled Pisces, is the artist’s interpretation of the legend of Aphrodite and Eros: in Greek mythology, Aphrodite, the Goddess of love and her son, Eros, escaped the fearsome monster Typhon by transforming into a tightly woven spiral of two fish, a figure which later became a constellation called Pisces.

The piece is made up of 10,000 balloons, which took 3 staff members 6 days to inflate before Jason and his assistant Leah Blair wove them carefully into this three dimensional structure.

Pisces will be on display in the Grand Gallery of the National Museum of Scotland through April 14th, 2013. More images are available on Flickr.

Touchscreen gestures brought to life

Multi touch gesturesMulti touch gesturesMulti touch gestures
An artist has decided to immortalise gestures used with touchscreen products. In her project ‘Multi-touch gestures‘, Gabriele Meldaikyte built 5 different sculptures that used the main gestures associated with touchscreen devices.

The gestures, which seem to be becoming second nature to most, including some babies trying to swipe a magazine to read it, are also seen as a signature of the Apple iPhone.

Gabriele believes that these will be completely different in 10 years time, and so wanted to immortalise them by translating this interface language of communication into 3D objects which mimic every multi-touch gesture.

Interactive art that mimics

Angle mirrorAngle mirrorDaniel Rozin‘s Mirrors seem to be pretty normal sculptures until you take a step closer, then they shift to mimic you. 

Currently exhibiting at Bitforms in New York until the 6th April, his ‘mirror’ pieces shift the patterns formed on them to mimic the viewers shape in real-time. This is done via cameras that detect shapes and cause the LEDs to change the pattern on the screen. Whilst not recreating a persons image perfectly, the screen will copy movements made until the person steps out of range.

The exhibition, called Angles, features some of the artists other kinetic work, which also interact with their surroundings and work on a principle of merging the geometric with the participatory.

Christo’s big air package

Big Air PackageBig Air PackageBig Air PackageBig Air PackageBig Air Package from Christo opened this month at the Gasometer Oberhausen, Germany. 

It is reported to be both the largest inflated frameless envelope and the most expansive indoor sculpture ever created.

The 90 meter high inflatable boasts a volume of 177,000 cubic meters and uses 20,350 square meters of semitransparent polyester fabric as well as 4,500 meters of rope. Despite lacking a skeleton the 5 ton form fills the interior of a former gas tank.

Christo describes the experience as ‘virtually swimming in light’ as a result of the vast expanses of fabric, lit from above via skylights in the Gasometer.

Filled with diffused natural daylight and muffled sounds it becomes a place of tranquility.

The project runs until 30th December 2013.

Photos: Wolfgang Volz © 2013 Christo

Clouds inside create silver-lining for artist

Indoor cloudIndoor cloudIndoor cloudDutch artist Berndnaut Smilde controls the weather and creates beautiful indoor clouds with the help of a smoke machine and dramatic lighting.

The fog machine emits dense vapour / smoke that makes contact with sprayed water and forms a small white cloud.

Smilde, who lives in Amsterdam, said he wanted to make the image of a typical Dutch rain cloud but inside. ‘I imagined walking into a classical museum hall with just empty walls,’ he said. ‘There was nothing to see except for a rain cloud hanging around in the room. I wanted to make a very clear image, an almost cliché and cartoon-like visualization of having bad luck. Indeed there’s nothing here and bxxxxcks, it’s starting to rain!”  

The few people who have seen the clouds in person should consider themselves very lucky; each cloud only exists for a moment before dissipating.  

To document the clouds Smilde photographs them; the only proof of their existence if a viewer misses them.  

The first exhibit, called Nimbus, was created by Smilde in 2010.  

Watch videos of the creation of the clouds below.

Swing to infinity

infinite swinginfinite swinginfinite swingAn installation at the Museum of Modern Art in Aalborg, Denmark by German artist Thilo Frank, allows visitors to swing into the infinite.

The Phoenix is closer than it appears” is a 4 x 4 x 8 meters box that contains a swing in the center, and the inside is covered in mirrors on all sides, creating infinite versions of yourself as you merrily swing away the time.

The external is also mirrored to reflect the scenery of the room it is housed in, whilst also providing solitude for those inside the box.

This is an innovative and fascinating piece of art, and we hope that it comes to the UK one day.


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