Monday, December 28, 2009

Sculpture and Water / Designing for Water & Designing with Water

photos from pruned


Can a sculpture also be environmentally functional?

Waterpleinen is a project designed by Florian Boer and Marco Vermeulen for the city of Rotterdam to reconfigure storm water. Instead of channeling water underground in expensive to build (and easy to overflow sewers) they've designed an urban landscape that changes it's function according to the weather.

The article on Pruned says "instead of being buried in concrete, excised from the daily life of the city and only experienced by municipal workers, urban hydrology is visibly, even prominently, incorporated into the surface fabric of the city. Programmed with recreational opportunities when its dry and even while inundated, its infrastructure provides active public spaces for the local area, not dark playgrounds for a handful of urban explorers. It even becomes an event, its frolicking rivulets and interior lakes staged for the young and old."

Too cool.

See the entire article here.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

the holidays

You've probably noticed there's no Shadows On Stone post for Sculpture and the Holidays

There's lots of sculpture, the worst is those plastic inflatables. I just try to get through the season alive, then I can think about aesthetics.

I feel about the Holidays the way Wally Shawn feels about Broadway musicals:

"I don't see that many plays, and for me, musicals are rarely pleasing. I feel the actors are being put through a kind of nightmarish labor. They're like animals being forced to pull heavy carts of vegetables at incredible speeds."

So true, no?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sculpture and Slingshots

Femme fatal.

Beautiful and deadly if you're small game, I found these Burmese carved wooden slingshots on the loaded trunk website.

File under craft or folk art (vanished) because of their scale and functionality. Away from Burma, out of their village context, you've got some powerful sculpture. Hand sized....

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sculpture and Definitions

If you move your body, it's called dance.
Or excercise.

If you move plants, it's called gardening.
Or flower arranging.

If you move plants and rocks and earth, it's called landscape design.
If you walk through nature, it's called hiking.
Or hunting.

If you control how people move through space,
is it choreography or architecture?
Or the military?

If you make people aware of their relationships with the world around them,
is it therapy?
Or sculpture?

(photo detail of Summer, relief sculpture by P. Gracewood)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Sculpture and James Staines

I pulled my big book of Romanesque Art off the shelf for inspiration on how to cave St. Francis. (I swear half the work of wood carving is thinking about it long before I ever pick up my chisels!)

Tucked inside was a tear sheet from Flexcut Carving tools 2005 catalog, featuring the work of James Staines on the cover, and three small images of different carvings inside. They're brilliant. David Benner of Flexcut loved the sculpture "Woman in Care" so much that he bought it and featured Staines work in the catalog.

All photos from the artist's website See better photos there.

WoodCarver Magazine reviewed the carving, the winner in the professional category, saying "My jaw dropped when I saw this carving. .. More thant anything I had a sense that every tiny part, from the way the fingers impress the cloth on the thighs to the beautiful curve of the back, from the subtle colors in the uniform to the tension in the lips and the character fully realised in the eyes _ everything has been rendered exactly, and simply so. There is nothing to be added or changed. Just loved it".

Woman in Care by James Staines 2005

"Return to Ithaca" by James Staines.

Each wood carving has a wonderful simplified but very quirky individuality.Artless simplicity is a hard thing to do, but Staines is a total pro. Very post-Romanesque. Clues and good inspiration to how I need to proceed with my own carving.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sculpture as Weapon?

Il Duomo di Milano as exhibit A (photo from Destination 360.)

Only in Italy can a famous building figure into an assault trial. The survivor also proclaimed it a "miracles".

Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was attacked and wounded by a man wielding a statuette of the Milan cathedral. Berlusconi, 73, suffered a fractured nose, two broken teeth and a cut lip. The attacker, Massimo Tartaglia, 42, has a history of mental illness and was arrested.

Berlusconi was in hospital overnight for observation. "I'm fine, I'm fine." He considers it "a miracle" that his eyes were spared. News reports say the statuette was made of heavy ceramic or metal.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sculpture and Architectural Indians

Up in Seattle, I had to stop and admire this enormous architectural ceramic sculpture in the convention center. It's easily 8 feet tall, so that's 3 times life sized? 4 ?

Keep in mind this was only a small part of the building's facade, demolished in the 1970's. Wish it still existed.....

The tag identifies it as a "Native American Chief" by Victor Schneider. c 1910. It says that it was part of the White, Henry and Stuart buildings in downtown Seattle and that Schneider was influenced by the work of Edward Curtis.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Sculpture - Placement and Context 2

This sweet granite figure was lost in the garden at ground level.
It's too small to hold its own when even the forget me nots are larger. She deserved better.

I also needed to design a barrier so the hose wouldn't decapitate all the plants when I turned off the path and went hard left.
Here's the result.

The 13 inch high cinder block pedestal stops the hose and is hidden by the carex plantings.
The dark scrap lumber house both frames and protects the pale granite figure.
Somehow my round rock collection wound up there.
She's selling them.....

There's a narrative going on that invites the visitor in. It's funny and functional on several levels. The context is human/house/ at home in the garden and shows her off far better than before. She makes me smile when I pass by.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sculpture and Flower Magazine

photo from winter issue of flower magazine.

If you love flowers, check out Flower magazine.

Flower magazine's mission is to “enrich your life through the knowledge and beauty of flowers.” Founder Margot Shaw says "I am trying to democratize flowers and floral design. It’s too much fun and shouldn’t be intimidating." Many aspects of "flowering" are covered in each issue, from elegant wedding arrangements to flowers in art, design and fashion.

My bronze relief panel of Oriental lilies is featured in the flower shop -"art in bloom" section of their 2009 winter edition. Check it out.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sculpture and Fashion Photography

There's plenty of structure involved in making garments, but that's another post.

These fashion shots by photographer Ruven Afanador are all about seeing both clothing and the model as sculptural forms and then combining them in surreal 3D assemblages.

See more at his website.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Sculpture and Volcanic Stone Relief

I found these wonderful carved volcanic stepping stones at Bamboo Craftsman. The rocks measure 22 x 28 inches by about 4 inches thick and have a carved low relief floral pattern on one surface. The price is $159.00.

Instead of using them as as stepping stones, they'd look great mounted vertically on a pedestal. In the garden the impact of rough hand hewn shape of black stone rectangle would read at any distance. Up close you'd discover the delicate flower patterns. The whole thing, stone, steel mount, masonry blocks and stucco coat would cost less than $250 for materials!

(I need to factor in the cost of the idea and labor.)

Bamboo Craftsman It is a design studio, garden and nursery They create and install bamboo fences and custom structures. You can see mature sized plantings of both running and clumping bamboos. Well worth a visit.