Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Art D'Eco - recycled fashion

Katell Gélébart is a Dutch activist and designer who believes in recycling. In partnership with other designers, she produces two haute couture collections each year, all made from reused materials. These materials include old mail sacks, parachutes, sails, offcuts of felt, old curtains, mattress-ticking and inner-tubes!

You can read all about it here.

These are some of my favourite Art D'Eco creations: the army blanket hats, army blanket jacket, inner-tube wallet, postbag dress, record notebook, and inner-tube belt.

I really like how the designs preserve the character of the original materials. Perhaps we will all be dressing like this, before too long....

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Save the planet by eating less meat

According to an article in The New Scientist, eating meat causes more greenhouse-gas emissions than eating food which has travelled a long distance. Read it here.

Anime lunch

Dinosaurs and Robots has an amazing piece about Japanese obento box lunches, here. The lunches are decorated with incredibly detailed pictures of anime characters; the pictures are made up of edible items. Go take a look, you won't believe it!

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

That's it, I'm moving to Norway!

I thought new Zealand was beautiful, but check out these amazing photos of Norwegian landscapes! (clicking the link opens a slideshow, or you can open a static page here)

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Congratulations Edith Amituanai

Edith Amituanai is the inaugural winner of the Marti Friedlander Photographic Award. The award is biennial and gives the recipient $25,000 with which to further their career.

Amituanai's subjects are drawn from her family and community and the houses they live in.

Friedlander says:

"I have chosen Edith as the inaugural recipient of the Award as I believe she has an exceptional talent. I particularly like the way her photographic essays portray people and places that reveal New Zealanders and all their diversity. She is a most worthy recipient of an Award that is intended to support the development of the medium of photography."

You can read more about the Marti Friedlander Award, Amituanai, and Friedlander
There's a nice article from the Herald about Amituanai's work with Samoan rugby players in Europe
here. And there are some more examples of her work here.

Sophie Ryder

English sculptor Sophie Ryder is installing some amazing new work at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park: 6 metre tall "hare-ladies", creatures with human bodies and hare heads.

You can read about the exhibition here.
And see some of the huge work under construction here.

Sophie Ryder has a website with lots of stunning exanples of her work here.
Some of my favourites are the Curled-up Figure, Sitting Lady-Hare on Dog, Conversation, Lady Hare Holding Dog, Dancing Hares, the wire drawing Eye, and the two collograph prints Kneeling Figure and Bending Figure.

The most common life-like thing on earth :-)

The folk at Astronomy Picture of the Day have this crazy photo of some bacteriophage viruses attacking a bacterium.

And these bacteriophage ("bacteria-eating") viruses are everywhere!

"A pinch of soil or drop of seawater, for example, contains many millions of bacteriophages."
"They're nature's most successful experiment," says Marisa Pedulla of the University of Pittsburgh. "They outnumber all the bacteria, all the humans, whales, trees, et cetera, put together."

They're "the pinnacle of creation," adds Graham Hatfull, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at the University of Pittsburgh. "Phages represent the major form of life in the biosphere."

Read more in an intriguing Science News article on phages, wittily titled, All The World's a Phage.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

A toilet-paper gown

Stuff has this nice story about an unusual wedding-dress design competition - the gowns must be made of toilet paper!
I've no idea how the winning gown is held together, but it's very impressive.

Hypnosis instead of anaesthetic

The BBC has this story about a man who hypnotised himself before surgery instead of having an anaesthetic. Despite the intensive operation on joints in his hand, he felt no pain.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Life Before Death

German photographer Walter Schels has confronted his terror of death by interviewing terminally ill people and photographing them before and after death. It's an amazing series of images, some of which are online here. They are currently on show in London: The Guardian has more information.

A temple of books

This fascinating Guardian article takes a tour of a 13th century Dominican church in Maastricht which has been re-purposed as a vast bookshop. Apparently it's an imposing sight!

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Sewing the invisible

Jum Nakao is a Brazilian fashion designer who has designed these amazing garments, made of laser-cut paper.

Nakao's collection of intricate paper dresses used 1 tonne of paper, and involved 150 people over 6 months; the dresses were on the catwalk for 10 minutes before being ripped to shreds by the models! The Listener has the full story of the fashion show. One of the garments has been reconstructed especially for The Dowse in Lower Hutt, and it's accompanied by photographs of the destroyed garments.

Saturday, 12 April 2008

New Philip Pullman novel!

Once Upon a Time in the North
Once Upon a Time in the North

Philip Pullman has written a new novel, Once Upon a Time in the North, about the early life of Lee Scoresby, a character who appears in the His Dark Materials trilogy. You can read all about it on Beattie's Book Blog here.

And you can buy it here.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

H2o: The Underwater Photography of Howard Schatz

H2o: The Underwater Photography of Howard Schatz

Howard Schatz's images of dancers dancing underwater are famous, and this is his latest collection of breathtaking images. You can take a peek at some of the pictures on his website.

And you can buy it here.

Ann Robinson

New Zealander Ann Robinson has been pre-eminent in the field of lost-wax glass-casting for a long time.

You can see examples of her beautiful work here. This series of tall vases is one of my favourites. And her flax pods are amazing!

She has a fascinating step-by-step description of the casting process, in a slideshow here.

Adrian Arleo

Adrian Arleo is a sculptor who works chiefly in ceramics. Her ceramic figures are uncanny and dreamlike, suggesting mythological stories of transformation or metamorphosis. The boundaries between human and animal, animate and inanimate, body and spirit, become fluid and dissolve....

There are pictures of her work here, here, and here.

She says of her work:

"My overall conceptual concern, in creating pieces that deal with the figure, does not stem from a fascination with the construction and problem-solving process. Nor is it just the beauty of the human form that holds me. What continues to absorb me is how, by rendering the physical body, one can convey, or at least suggest, a remarkable array of non-physical, internal, ephemeral, spiritual, emotional or psychological experiences. I use the human form to get at the human being and human nature, not at the body as an end in itself."

And she has even designed some teapots! She says, "I see my teapots as being little narrative dramas"! Have a look at them here.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Penguins take flight

If only all commercials were this clever!

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Prehistoric bugs in amber

How can you examine tiny and microscopic insects and plants trapped in ancient, opaque amber?

"The European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble, France, produces an intense, high-energy light that can pierce just about any material, revealing its inner structure.

Tafforeau and colleague Malvina Lak have put kilos of opaque amber chunks in the way of this beam and have found a treasure trove of ancient organisms.
From more than 600 blocks, they have identified nearly 360 fossil animals. Wasps, flies, ants - even spiders. There are also small fragments of plant material. All of it caught up in the sticky goo of some prehistoric tree and then locked away until modern science provided the key."

Having scanned the amber from at least 1,000 angles, a 3-D scale model can then be produced on the 3-D printer.

Amazing! Read the whole story here.

New coins for UK

The Royal Mint has chosen a smart contemporary design by a young graphic designer. What do you think?