Murals in Madrid by Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada focus on the Amazon — Inspiring City

Two new murals from Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada have appeared in Madrid. The new pieces feature themes of climate change and the fight of indigenous people to save their lands. Gerada choosing once again to use his art in order to draw attention to social issues and the rights of minorities. The murals have in part been inspired…

via Murals in Madrid by Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada focus on the Amazon — Inspiring City

Meltdown: Exhibition emphasises the changing global climate and the importance of glaciers- Life & Soul Magazine

A series of artworks emphasising the changing global climate and the importance of glaciers is currently on display at London’s Horniman Museum.

The temporary exhibition, entitled Meltdown, aims to emphasise the importance of glaciers in a scientific, illustrative and dramatic way. The show features work from every relevant continent, leading the viewer on a journey in three chapters – The Importance of Glaciers, Current Issues and Meltdown Consequences.

Among the works include artist Peter Funch’s use of vintage postcards as a model for his images of American glaciers to capture the effects of glacial recession; Norfolk + Thymann’s images of part of the Rhône glacier covered in geo-thermal cloth to limit melting; Richard Mosse’s photograph of the ice cave under the Vatnajökull glacier in Iceland; and Noémie Goudal’s large-scale photographic installation mirroring the shifting glacial landscape, printed on biodegradable paper.

The exhibition – organised by climate change charity, Project Pressure – is on until 12 January.

Project Pressure, since 2008, has been commissioning world-renowned artists to conduct expeditions to document changes to the world’s vanishing glaciers, the consequences for billions of people, and efforts made to limit melting.

Meltdown

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com

moriyuki ochiai architects sets a constellation of stargazing tea rooms in bisei, japan- Nisha Designs

moriyuki ochiai architects sets a constellation of stargazing tea rooms in bisei, japan

moriyuki ochiai architects sets a constellation of tea rooms under the stars, a cluster of tea rooms offering a view of the surrounding scenery and the starlit sky as a teahouse connecting people to the stars and nature located in the town of bisei, okayama prefecture, japan, known as a sanctuary for stargazing. the site is surrounded by rolling hills and distant mountains and offers a view of a spectacular landscape.

tea room in the fog

moriyuki ochiai architects’s pieces are able to host a variety of events held throughout the year by the astronomy club and the tea ceremony club as well as a performance stage for concerts and plays. named after two rivers running through it, the town of bisei (jap. ‘beautiful stars’) is found in okayama prefecture which is also known for being the birthplace of eisai, a japanese buddhist priest, credited with introducing green tea to japan. in alignment with its heritage, the constellation of tea rooms is also in harmony with the surrounding undulating terrain, thus creating a landscape in which the indoor and outdoor expand seamlessly like the flow of a river under the milky way.

uster of tea rooms offering a view of the surrounding scenery and the starlit sky

the japanese tea room was developed as an enclosed microcosm called ‘enclosure’, and as such, each unit is designed as a spatial installation where one can perceive minute changes in its natural surroundings and experience the wonder and mystery of natural phenomena. meanwhile, mirrors placed on the exterior walls reflect the ever-changing outdoor environment like the water surface of rice paddies scattered across bisei, thus modifying the look and perception of the constructions throughout the day.

the constellation of tea rooms is also in harmony with the surrounding undulating terrain

visitors can experience the project as a galaxy of tea rooms built independently as they move in and around them freely. the outdoor space, taken as the space comprised between the tea rooms, the surrounding nature and the starry sky are beautifully intertwined to form a new landscape that comes in and out of view through the openings and gaps cut out from the multiple structures. the loose gathering of tea rooms forms an extension of the landscape and creates an environment enhancing the fun and joy derived from human activities. by merging together this newly formed belt of tea rooms with the idyllic hills, mountains and starry skies of bisei, the studio sought to realize a tea house that reshapes the town’s panorama.

creating a landscape in which the indoor and outdoor expand seamlessly like the flow of a river under the Milky Way.
a cluster of tea rooms
the loose gathering of tea rooms forms an extension of the landscape and creates an environment enhancing the fun and joy derived from human activities
tea ceremony
tea ceremony
tea ceremony
the open arrangement of the structures forms a stageconducivee to various events and activities by creating a space where multiple indoor and outdoor activities become possible
visitors can experience the project as a galaxy of tea rooms built independently as they move in and around them freely

the surrounding nature and the starry sky are beautifully intertwined to form a new landscape that comes in and out of view through the openings and gaps cut out from the multiple structures

project info:

design firm: moriyuki ochiai architects

team: moriyuki ochiai, jillian lei, xingguang li, marie uno, haruka amano, yuta takahashi

use: teahouse

location: bisei-okayama and awajiiland, japan

client: irbisei, nijigennomori/pasona group

constructor: takei construction, ca leading (osami hiroyama, masakazu hirose, yoshiko makabe, kazuya okuno, sanae iwamoto), soken group

special paint: osamu yamaguchi

paint: masanao uchida lighting: color kinetics japan (masaki yamashita, koki yano, miyahara yusuke)

sound system: yoshiyuki kanamori

videography: kazuma goto, noriko nishiguchi, shinichi hisamatsu, hajime kishii

tea ceremony set: nanzan ito,kenyu mitsuhashi,yuko nakano

tea ceremony: fumiko miyake , fujimi ishikawa

cooperator: norihiro ariyoshi (soken group), yoshinori takedo (grop)

photo: fumio araki

completion: january 2018

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

edited by: maria erman | designboom

Via: https://www.designboom.com/architecture/moriyuki-ochiai-architects-constellation-stargazing-tea-rooms-japan-04-23-2018/

Sculptor Brian Mock creates life-size animal sculptures from recycled metals- Life and Soul Magazine

Self-proclaimed “metal evolutionist” Brian Mock is turning scrap metal into beautiful and intricate sculptures of animals, musical instruments, people, and even a deity.

The Aloha-based sculptor spent his young life drawing, and much of his adult life painting and wood carving, before his creative passions turned to sculpting with recycled metal in the 1990s. Brian Mock then taught himself how to weld, and he has since gone on to create all manner of beautiful objects from scrap metal – everything from nut, bolts, spools and more.

Brian Mock said: “Giving old, everyday objects a new life as one sculpture is an artistically demanding, yet gratifying, process. My work is designed to emphasise resourcefulness and encourage viewer engagement. Audience reactions fuel my creativity and help me bring my visions to life.”

Among the recycled metal sculptor’s artworks is California Brown Bear made using various wheel spools and other metal parts; an elephant end table; and a lion, among others.

Brian Mock added: “My sculptures are made entirely from reclaimed items and materials (almost all metal, but sometimes I’ll add bits of plastic for color). I like that people interact with them; they have fun looking for objects they can identify. It started as a hobby, but as I got better at sculpting, I turned it into a full-time profession.”

Images source: Brian Mock

Brian Mock

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com

Exhibition Review: Eco-Visionaries: Confronting a planet in a state of emergency, Royal Academy of Arts, London

It’s a fact: “we are facing an ecological emergency”. The likes of young environmental guardians Greta Thunberg, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, Artemisa Xakriaba and their peers have voiced these facts for the world to take note and take action. Eco-Visionaries: Confronting a planet in a state of emergency, an exhibition that is currently on at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, on the other hand takes those facts and visualises them to encourage people to take note and to take action.

Tackling issues from climate change to food shortage, species extinction and resource depletion, Eco-Visionaries brings together artists, designers and architects from around the world who accept and acknowledge the hard facts, and are reconsidering the relationship between humans and nature.

Each visionary offers their alternative visions on how the future may look, encouraging visitors to rethink their own lives, make changes, and most importantly, to reconnect with nature. Recognising that without a connection to nature people are unlikely to take action, the exhibition invites the audience “to interact with the environment in a more respectful way, putting nature and other species’ needs before our own”.

While discussions about climate change more recently have focused on “future generations”, Eco-Visionaries serves to remind viewers that the planet is experiencing environmental changes right here, right now – as the exhibition’s introduction draws light on: “we are no longer discussing an environmental catastrophe that might impact future generations, but a catastrophe that will now drastically affect our own”.

Mother Nature waits for “no man”, so to speak, and that is what one of Eco Visionaries’s highlights, win >< win seeks to address – the mortality of humans and their demise as a dominant species. The 2017 installation win >< win, by the art collective Rimini Protokoll, which as entertaining and engaging as it is, highlights a few “home truths”: that humans are the most endangered species on this planet and so too face extinction.

Using jellyfish, one of the few species in the world to actually benefit from the effects of global warming, as a focal point, viewers sit in a small auditorium wearing headphones before the lights dim and a screen ahead unveils a mirror. The male voice poses questions to the viewers about their age and mortality, as they look at themselves through the mirror, asking them to respond with gestures such as pointing and putting up their hands. The mirror soon fades away and the audience then becomes witness to a tank of live jellyfish.

The audio, which is akin to listening to an insightful radio documentary about global warming, explains how jellyfish, who are carnivores, are rapidly multiplying due to warmer seas and a scarcity of endangered sea turtles that prey on them. Seeing such creatures up close begs viewers to ask questions about non-native species to this planet, and the volume of unwelcome critters and things that live on this planet that seek to destroy the natural ecosystems.

At some point during the 16-minute interactive installation, viewers can then see through the tank and it becomes apparent that other viewers are sitting in a similar auditorium directly opposite. On the other side of the tank, they too are experiencing win >< win, although at a different time sequence. As the audio poses further questions of the mortality of the viewers in the second auditorium, win >< win serves as reminder of the vulnerabities of the human species and that they are not top of the food chain.

The Eco-Visionaries exhibition also displays artwork from familiar names such as artist and climate activist, Olafur Eliasson. In The Ice Melting Series, Olafur Eliasson highlights shrinking polar ice caps, getting visitors to examine how the choices and actions of humans anywhere in the world impacts the rest of the world no matter how far away a land may be from them geographically.

As visitors enter the exhibition, they are invited to view a plastic globe which spins in a tank surrounded by small green particles, indicative of plastics, which is in fact having an impact on the rotations of the planet and attempting to slow it down. The installation, entitled Domestic Catastrophe Nº3: La Planėte Laboratoire, is by the Paris-based design collective HeHe.

On closer inspection of the HeHe exhibit, the particles sit on the globe like microfibre clothing creates bobbles on clothes and just sits on the garments. When you see it in the context of the globe, it appears like a dead weight. If someone has not questioned the impact of microfibres in the context of the bigger picture before, this exhibit most certainly does that.

Madrid In The Air, a film especially commissioned for the exhibition, monitors the skyline of Madrid over a 24-hour period. The film, by London-based architect and researcher Nerea Calvillo, literally brings to light the veil of pollutants in the air seen in various illuminous colours. Another film, The Breast Milk of the Volcano, sees research studio Unknown Fields present findings from an expedition to Bolivia and the Atacama Desert, source of over half the world’s reserves of lithium, questioning the sustainability of the lithium-based batteries that power most electronic devices today.

In The Substitute, artist Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg enables visitors to come face-to-face with a life-size digital reproduction of a northern white rhinoceros, the last male of the subspecies of which died in 2018. Drawing upon rare zoological archival footage as well as experimental data from AI company DeepMind, viewers are reminded of animal species that face extinction.

Eco-Visionaries excells at presenting the hard facts in a way that gets people to really think about the environment and to examine the impact of their choices on the planet. It also encourages them to make changes in their own lives and to take action.

What we are witnessing now on this planet is what happens when inaction occurs, and while taking no action is an action in-and-of itself, what Eco-Visisonaries reminds visitors is that inaction comes at a price. Eco-Visionaries also suggests that for those willing to play an active role in the survival of the planet and its healing, there is “the need to relearn how to survive without further damage to the planet and coexisting with more empathy towards other living beings”.

Eco-Visionaries relays all of these messages not in an aggressive, worthy nor righteous manner, but in a most impactful way – one that is likely to serve as a visual reminder for those who have visited the exhibition as they makes choices in their daily lives, and so making for consciously-aware, environmentally-aware choices that serve a greater good for the planet and its native species.

Image Credits: © Royal Academy of Arts, London/David Parry

Eco-Visionaries: Confronting a planet in a state of emergency is on at the Royal Academy of Arts from now until 23 February 2020

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com

Flora Forager: Depicting nature, wildlife and magickal beings with artworks made from foraged finds- Life & Soul Magazine

The Pacific North West with its wildflower woodlands, mossy waterfalls, and grey sand provides botanical artist, Bridget Beth Collins with her natural art materials – everything from wildflowers, leaves, mosses, and seeds.

Otherwise known as Flora Forager, the Seattle-based artist creates delightful foraged artworks of nature, wildlife, actresses including Audrey Hepburn, famous characters like Harry Potter, and magickal beings including a dragon and a unicorn from her foraged finds.

With a strong attention to detail florally, as it were, Bridget Beth Collins gives the gift of nature with the very gifts it provides her while out foraging. She says: “I forage almost all of my creations from foliage and flowers plucked from our sidewalks, meadows, and woods in our neighborhood. I have a small garden in the city, and my mother has a big rambling secret garden filled with old english roses in the sea town of Edmonds where I grew up.”

“Flora Forager is a product of my love affair with glittering nature, and my own artistic skills honed over the years. Creation and Creator combined,” the artist adds.

If you are looking for a Christmas gift to give the nature lover(s) in your life, check out Flora Forager’s books.

Image Credits: Flora Forager

Flora Forager

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com

Blake McFarland: Artist turns recycled tyres into marvellous, life-sized animal sculptures- Life & Soul Magazine

Tyres are finding new life as life-sized sculptures of animals courtesy of Blake McFarland’s visions.

The former baseball player and mixed-materials artist has created an animal kingdom of artworks which include a cougar that stands around 4 ft tall and 7 ft long; a tiger made from 4,000 shreds of Goodyear tyres; and pandas created using black and white recycled tyres.

Each sculpture uses strategically placed tyres which are woven and secured. The grooves in the tyres give a muscle-like definition to the animal sculpture, while the different treads and widths of the tyre material also provide texture to emulate the animals’ fur. An average sculpture uses around 100-400 tyres and takes up to a month to complete.

Blake McFarland’s most recent work and one of his finest is of a lion’s head, which makes use of hundreds of pieces of basketball leather to achieve the big cat’s mane.

The San Jose-born artist loves being able to be eco-friendly by using mostly recycled materials to make his distinctive art. Working with different materials including recycled ethernet cables and wires as well as tyres means that Blake McFarland gets to explore creative ways of using everyday items that would otherwise go to landfill.

Blake McFarland began his art career painting ocean scenery and landscaped with acrylics. While he was a pro ball player for the Blue Jays, he would paint during the off-season. And it was in 2012, that he found the medium that he was truly meant to master and work with.

In an interview with The Hardball Times, Blake McFarland said: “In 2012 during the off-season, my wife [Jessica] and I were in St. Louis and we drove by this playground where there were a bunch of tractor tires stacked up in a dragon-snake-serpent design. It sparked my interest. Tyres were not being used anywhere – you see them on the side of the road all over the place – and maybe it’s something to work with. From there, I had to teach myself that entire thing, too, which took some time.”

The former baseball player retired from the game last year following a shoulder injury, and is now a full-time artist.

Images Source: Blake McFarland Facebook page

Blake McFarland Sculptures

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com

Bruno Torfs’ garden of magickal and mystical beings in Australia’s Yarra Valley- Rosa Medea

Sculptor and Artist Bruno Torfs’ garden, part of the luscious sub-alpine forests of Australia’s Marysville, is home to a wonderful array of magickal and mystical beings that he himself carved from wood and made using earthenware.

Bruno’s Art & Sculpture Garden, located in Melbourne’s Yarra Valley, has long been a haven for those with a connection to nature and its magickal inhabitants. Among the garden’s residents are a bearded wizard, various fae, a lion, Mowgli, native women, a witch, and Sherlock Holmes and Watson characters.

Bruno Torfs incorporates the natural landscape into his art, using tree branches and leaves as a part of his subjects’ hair or body. After carving, they remain unpainted and blend in with their surroundings.

The South American-born artist’s collection of wooden and terracotta life size sculptures were extensive until the Marysville bushfires of 2009, which tore through much of his garden.

Since the bushfires, Bruno Torfs has rebuilt his home and gallery. The garden has blossomed into a new stage of life, most of his terracotta life size sculptures have been restored and visitors can see his surviving paintings as well as new works in the unique new gallery space.

Bruno Torfs

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com

Impermanent Nature: Cryptik explores a world beyond notions of life and death in solo exhibition- Life & Soul Magazine

LA-based artist Cryptik explores impermanence – a world beyond notions of life and death – in his first solo exhibition, Impermanent Nature.

In Impermanent Nature, which is currently on display at Galerie Itinerrance in Paris until 19 October, Cryptik takes the law of nature – “all that exists is impermanent; nothing lasts forever” – as his starting point to honour the cycle of life throughout the exhibition.

“It is a search for wisdom and beauty in the transient with the understanding that through anicca all things are possible. From the birth of stars, to our beating hearts, to every breath we take, anicca is what allows life to happen – impermanence is life.

“By deepening our insight into impermanence, we can discover a world beyond notions of life and death, where there is no-birth and no-death, only continuous becoming. All physical and mental phenomena are transient, they come into being and dissolve away. Attachment to things that are impermanent and changing ineviteably leads to suffering.”

“It is a search for wisdom and beauty in the transient with the understanding that through anicca all things are possible. From the birth of stars, to our beating hearts, to every breath we take, anicca is what allows life to happen – impermanence is life.

“By deepening our insight into impermanence, we can discover a world beyond notions of life and death, where there is no-birth and no-death, only continuous becoming. All physical and mental phenomena are transient, they come into being and dissolve away. Attachment to things that are impermanent and changing ineviteably leads to suffering.”

“We must cultivate and nourish our insight into impermanence if we are to live more deeply and suffer less,” Cryptik added. “Through observation and understanding we can experience the nature of impermanence and release ourselves from the sorrows of human life, achieving liberation from the process of anicca.

“’Behold, O monks, this is my last advice to you. All component things in the world are changeable. They are not lasting. Work hard to gain your own salvation.’ These were the last words of the Buddha.”

Cryptik’s exhibition Impermanent Nature is currently on at Galerie Itinerrance in Paris until 19 October

Cryptik

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com