Almost 20% of the total area of the Netherlands is water, with many parts of the county reclaimed from the sea through an extensive system of dykes that date back as far as medieval times. For this reason, the Dutch have always had a fairly special relationship with water. You can see this in so many aspects of what they do, from amazing bridges to beautiful public ponds, their unique appreciation for lakes, rivers and the sea has always lead to interesting work.
I recently came across this wonderful recreational island home by 2by4 Architects and quickly feel for its simplistic charms. Completed in 2011, the home offers an ideal rural getaway that boasts large glass walls and a slide-away wall that opens up directly onto the water. It looks like the perfect place for an outdoor retreat.
Found on a man-made island on the Dutch lake of Loosdrechtse Plas, the home is designed to be completely customized depending on the owners needs. On warm days the northern facade opens towards the water, turning the wooden floor of the living room into a jetty. On winter days the home looks just as good, offering a freestanding fire to snuggle up to as you look out over the countryside.
While only 100 meters in size, the home still looks quite spacious and comfortable with a shower, toilet, kitchen, closets, storage and other functions are all integrated into a double wall. It all looks perfect!
Hat tip to Dwell for the discovery. You can see more images of the home on 2by4 Architects’ website.
London is getting a new museum and to call it eccentric may just be an understatement. Opening this month The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities is no doubt unlike anything you’ve seen before. “I’m so bored of contemporary museums and their desperate attempt to classify and make sense of everything,” Wynd told The Guardian recently. “The world is one big, glorious mess and we should celebrate that.”
Wynd has been building his collection for the last decade and his new Museum is not his only big release this year. He recently teamed up with the publishers at Prestel to release Viktor Wynd’s Cabinet of Wonders; a book that celebrates his collection and the collections of many more dilettantes, bohemians and artists.
Photographed by Oskar Proctor, these images capture the curiosities and horrors found in the collections of many other eccentrics. From shrunken heads and narwhal tusks to old erotica to occult paintings, the series of images are fascinating and unique.
The book also includes advice on how to start a collection of your own, covering everything from attending auction houses, to finding the right private dealers, flea markets and fairs. If pickled genitals, old skeletons or taxidermy animals are your thing then this book is certainty for you.
You can see a few more images taken by Oskar Proctor on his website. The book, Viktor Wynd’s Cabinet of Wonders, can be ordered here and Wynd’s museum will open hopefully open in Hackney later this month.
Have you ever thought about packing it all in and moving to the countryside? If you live in a city I’m sure that at some point in life you’ve considered leaving the fumes and smog behind and heading out in-search of fresh air and clean living. Who hasn’t reminisced about some green and fertile countryside from a half-remembered youth? Wouldn’t it be nice to return there?
This is certainly a thought that the Spanish photographer Juan Aballe has had. A few years ago he noticed that many of his close friends were moving to the countryside and so Aballe found himself confronted by the thought – what would life be like if he packed it all in and headed out to the country.
What followed was a series of photographs titled Country Fictions. Taken between 2011 and 2013, they were shot in a number scarcely populated areas on the Iberian Peninsula. But did Aballe find the rural utopia he had imagined? Not exactly. Aballe is a photographer who is more than aware of the dreams that can be captured behind a lens. Its title not withstanding, it’s hard to tell that these photographs are in fact a fiction. They’re a vision of Aballe’s imagined utopia. Like all photography, they show a fiction played out as a fact.
“In what could be called a collection of daydreams, Country Fictions reflects on the photographic language itself and how we are influenced by previous representations and preconceived ideas about rural utopias” says Aballe. “The illusion of escaping from contemporary society, the naivety and the hopes built around nature come together with the strangeness and the nostalgic look at a life that is not mine.”
It’s a great collection of images. You can view the full set on Juan Aballe’s website.
For a number of years the Japanese artist and cartographer Sohei Nishino has been mapping the world’s cities. From Rio to London and from New York to Tokyo, his highly detailed maps serve up a unique portrait of some of the world’s most diverse cities. Consisting of thousands of cut-out snapshots of each location, the artist meticulously pieces together these images to form highly complicated collages that include everything from people and animals to buildings and streets.
Nishino takes literally thousands upon thousands of photos before he’s ready to begin his cartographic collage. Piece by piece he edits these images down until he’s selected just the right ones. Despite the editing, his final work can still include up to 4,000 photographs; each of these he hand prints and then cuts and collages them together to create huge compositions that reflect his personal experience of each city. It’s a remarkable process and the results really do speak for themselves.
For those in London, an exhibition of Nishino’s work entitled ‘New Dioramas’ runs at Michael Hoppen Contemporary until 7 January 2015.
Berlin-based art collective Numen / For Use used a crazy amount of tape to build this one-of-a-kind installation at Paris’s Palais de Tokyo. Called ‘Tape Paris’, the work is part of an extensive group exhibition titled ‘Inside’ which runs in the gallery until January 2015.
Numen / For Use describe the show:
The main idea was to transform the whole building into a convulsive mind/body organism whose slippery inner limits a motivated explorer has yet to trace and confront. The stretched biomorphic skin of Tape Paris is marking the entry point to the whole experience, being a literal incarnation of an inner-directed, regressive environment – the sense of descent into the primordial always lingering around its openings.
It took twelve people ten days to wrap-up the concrete pillars to form a maze of accessible translucent passageways. These passageways coil 50 meters through the gallery and reach a total height of 6 meters. To gain a better understanding of the piece you can check out this wonderful video that was produced for the exhibition:
You can see more images of the work being constructed here. ‘Inside’ runs at the Au Palais de Tokyo until the 11 of January 2015.
If you think of Sweden I’m sure you can think of a lot of great things. Maybe it’s their fantastic contribution to the world of pop music; maybe you prefer their existential cinema or perhaps you’re simply salivating at thought of their delicious meatballs? Either way, as a country, Sweden has done pretty well for itself. For me, I like to think of two things: flat pack furniture and summer houses. For too long these icons of Swedishness have stood apart, but they’ve finally been combined thanks to this ingenues project by Jonas Wagell and Sommarnöjen.
Dubbed the Mini House 2.0, the project is a prefabricated cabin concept that can be delivered flat-packed and typically takes only two days to construct. A collaboration between the Swedish manufacture Sommarnöjen and the designer and architect Jonas Wagell, the modules comes in various layouts and can be configured to include a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and living space.
Developed in a range of sizes, the first two models are 15 square meters in width and length. As I said, they come with a range of interior solutions and are constructed with high quality wood. Each cabin is fully insulated and includes electricity and interior and exterior painting.
Not only are they a great idea but they also look great. You can see more from this project on its website.
Dedicated to the analysis of film form, Every Frame a Painting is a fantastic series of video essays created by the filmmaker and editor Tony Zhou. As entertaining as they are insightful, his series of videos may well be one of my favorite discoveries on the internet.
Running for between 5 and 8 minutes, each video focuses on one filmmaker or one aspect of film form. While some people may feel that film form is quite a dull subject matter, Zhou’s essays are well and truly the opposite of this. They’re fun, engaging and informative.
Take for example texting and the internet in cinema. While we may be living in a digital age, film still seems to be somewhat ineffective in depicting this world on screen. In Zhou’s essay on the subject he presents us with how cinema has approached this conundrum and questions if a solution to their problem may lie not in its content, but in form. Check it out below and I’m sure you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about:
Other topics have ranged from Steven Spielberg’s use of the long take to Satoshi Kon’s unique editing style. I particularly enjoyed his examination into the work of Michael Bay. As one YouTube commenter put it “now I can hate his movies in a more intelligent way”. It’s a great analysis and well worth watching:
Perhaps Zhou’s most successful video to date has been his analysis of Edgar Wright’s approach to visual comedy. In his essay, Zhou looks at how the filmmaker consistently finds humor through framing, camera movement, editing, sound effects and music. Its a wonderful insight into how well designed Wrights films are, and Zhou does a fantastic job of articulating exactly how great Wright is as a director.
If you’re a fan of Tony’s work and you’d like to see his series continue you can support the project over on Patreon. If you’d like to see more from the series make sure to subscribe to his channel over on YouTube.
Last week Bobby posted some truly fantastic looping illustrations from the American designer and illustrator Drew Tryndall. I loved them, and they’re bright colors and simple shapes kind of reminded me of this great work by the Canadian artist Matthew Feyld.
Made up of strong blocks of color and bold but beautiful shapes, there’s a naive simplicity to Feyld’s paintings which just works. Whether viewed on their own or viewed as a set, there’s something so perfectly direct about these paintings that I can’t help but love them.
In an interview with Little Paper Planes, Feyld discussed the inspiration behind the shapes and forms he uses in his work:
Some of them started as human figures, or day to day objects that over time have been stripped down and become less and less figurative. Others have come from excessive doodling. I’m interested in the relationships between shapes. And the spaces that those shapes inhabit. And the even smaller spaces between those shapes.
If you’re a fan of nice shapes, then I fully recommend you check out more work from Feyld.
You can view more work from Matthew Feyld on his website.