Inspired by Nature | 2021
THE BLUE TULIP
Hello Art by Nature readers! This edition is special for two reasons; firstly because this is the 15th edition of Art by Nature! What started out as a study project at night school, blossomed into something very special indeed! And, secondly as there are so many artists and so little time I am sharing their stories across two magazines. I say little time, because I will be moving house, twice, and also because I’m pregnant with our second child which presents its own challenges.
should never miss the opportunity to be inspired by Merel Slootheer’s column, ‘Roots’, where you will find out why she’s such a nerd for birds.
In this issue, we look back and revisit a couple of artists who made some amazing developments since they were first featured in Art By Nature.
And last but not least, if all goes well, Flower Art Museum and Art by Nature Magazine will have a special printed edition and an exposition in the same theme on 23rd april t/m 3rd juli 2022 in the Flower Art Museum in Aalsmeer, The Netherlands
On the cover we see Penguin the Magpie which I used as a tribute to Cameron Bloom’s Movie ‘Penguin Bloom’. Sarah Madani a student at Middlesex University Dubai and the newest contributor to my magazine, who I got in contact with none other than Stephen King, who for the last couple of years has been supporting the magazine with his editing skills. She interviewed Cameron’s son Noah about their new adventures and the movie that was recently released on Netflix. We also talk to Adrian Landon about his crazy adventures, one of them being burning a (metal) horse at Burning Man. We meet Caitlin McCormack who has reinvented herself, in one version she changes colour. And Garret Kane turns trees into sculptures. Of course Art by Nature isn’t complete without our two columnists; Jacolien de Jong, who shares a deeply'rooted desire for air and inspiration. And you
Please do continue to follow the magazine And share with others. Thank you and enjoy edition 15! Tessa Valk Founder, Editor-in-chief & Designer
Colophon INITIATIVE OF Tessa Valk
COVER COLLAGE tessaontwerpt.nl
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LIKE THE MAGAZINE? Support the magazine artbynaturemag.com SPECIAL THANKS TO Jacolien de Jong • Merel Slootheer • Constantijn Hoffscholte of Flower Art Museum • Garret Kane • Noah Bloom • Caitlin McCormack • Adrian Landon No content may be used without permission of Art by Nature magazine. Photos of artists’ work(s) are owned by the artist (all rights reserved). All images are credited where it has been possible to identify the owner. If you find an image that is yours and you aren't credited, please let me know.
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EXPOSITION 6 New beginnings Constantijn Hoffscholte COLUMN 26 Nature's vision Jacolien de Jong MOVIESPECIAL 36 Bird Whisperers: The Penguin Bloom Story Noah Bloom THROUGH THE EYES OF 42 Mother earth Garret Kane
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9 NATURE'S WANNAHAVES
Tessa Valk has been editing and designing this beautiful magazine for six years, and hopefully she will continue to do so for many years to come. And it’s all voluntary, for which she deserves all the more credit. I am delighted therefore that Art by Nature magazine and the Flower Art Museum started a collaboration during the first lockdown in 2020, and since then we have started to dream and make ‘bigger plans’ for the future.
WITH CONSTANTIJN HOFFSCHOLTE
C Drastic times call for drastic measures. Well, not everything needs to be drastic, but at least the pandemic has forced all of us to look at things a little differently.
ART BY NATURE | EXPOSITION
As a young and ambitious museum, we find it rewarding to work with people who think along the same lines as we do. In Tessa’s case, we both love to combine nature and art, and our main wish is to inspire as many people as possible by showing them the amazing work artists come up with. Tessa does this by publishing her digital magazine and the Flower Art Museum by organizing exhibitions and activities. During the phone calls and zoom sessions we had together over the past year, the question arose: how can we expand this shared passion? And here we come to our big plans for the future. During a brainstorm all kinds of questions arose. How can the magazine reach more people? Would it be fun to make a “themed” edition? Could we make it a print edition? Yes… cool idea! But that must surely be way too expensive ...
N HUMAN A T U R E 23 april t/m 3 juli 2022 7
N NAMUH T U R E A digital magazine is a good and effective way to put a passion in the spotlight without high costs. But there is also a limitation: digital is a more volatile medium than print. In the digital world, we do not always give things the time and attention they deserve.
To keep a long story short: we're just going to try and do it. In 2022, Art by Nature magazine and the Flower Art Museum want to publish the first print edition of the magazine. A special themed issue in which we showcase a selection of artists who we think absolutely deserve to be seen. Artists that every lover of art and nature should (get to) know! Part 2 of our plan then came naturally. If we're going to make a magazine with a super cool group of artists, why don't we also organize an exhibition together in the Flower Art Museum?
" In 2022, Art by Nature magazine and the Flower Art Museum want to publish the first print edition of the magazine." This is how our project grew. And we hope that it continues to grow, because there still is the small matter of financial needs. You cannot make a great looking magazine plus exhibition without cold hard cash. We hope to organise this in the coming year. So take note: 2nd quarter 2022, Art by Nature in a new, versatile guise. It’s going to be something you do not want to miss! Find out more: flowerartmuseum.nl
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ART BY NATURE | EXPOSITION
I think I saw my... bird The Favorite Things Lamp by Chen Karlsson is a very beautiful and uniquely designed hanging lamp. With this lamp you literally put your favorite elements in the spotlight! The content can be adjusted per season or occasion. nedgis.com
Crab multi-tool At the beach or on the go, this crab just wants to lend a helping claw. Grip his sturdy beechwood shell to utilize any one of his helpful stainless steel appendages. Comes with a mini scissor, bottle opener, 3/16 flat head screwdriver, can opener, mini knife, and rope saw. kikkerland.com
NATURE WANNAHAVE'S | ART BY NATURE
WITH ADRIAN LANDON
A journey of an 'Automata' artist
In edition 3 I met Adrian Landon. He had grown up in New York where he both started his career and, quickly realizing what being an artist meant. It’s been 5 years since we last talked about his work. And boy oh boy did a lot happen! T
Photographer Mickey Litchfield
The gold plated mechanical horse sculpture, just installed in the lobby of the Daxton Hotel, Birmingham, MI, Jan. 2021
BEHIND THE SCENES | ART BY NATURE
Construction finally begins of the giant mechanical Pegasus for Burning Man after I receive and layout all the laser cut steel parts that I designed. June 2019
Wings of Glory Visualize a giant mechanical Pegasus, forty feet above the ground, galloping and flying in slow motion - entirely ablaze. In 2019, Adrian received a grant from the Burning Man and used it to bringe the ambitious ‘Wings of Glory’ project to life. Landon was awarded an artist’s residency at the Buffalo Creek Art Center in Nevada to build the Pegasus: “The entire journey of manifesting this project was green lights and people coming to me out of nowhere offering their help. I am so incredibly grateful to everyone who gave me their time, skills and resources” He completed a Kickstarter campaign to raise the remaining funds required and then had three months to design and engineer the project, 12
ART BY NATURE | BEHIND THE SCENES
followed by three months of building it. When the day finally came to show his masterpiece to the world, Landon was more than ready. He showed up on time and set it up with his remarkable crew. ‘Wings of Glory’ worked flawlessly for the entire week, despite high winds and total white-out dust storms: “It was so incredibly amazing. People were mesmerized and would come up to me crying”. The following year, in early 2020, Landon received a commission from a luxury art hotel in Detroit for a gold plated, life-sized mechanical horse. He was thrilled at this new milestone: “It was the first commission of a mechanical sculpture, and I've been making them for 5 years now.”
" I'm not saying that the art at BM is all amazing - but I see so much more spirit and truth here." The leftover steel sheet from the parts of the Pegasus are framed and then turned into a wall piece. July 2020
Change in the art world Over the years, it became more apparent to him how overrated and upsetting the art scene was: “As an artist - amongst other aspiring and struggling artists - you had to go to all the shows and openings, see the triumph of bizarre mediocrity and banality, and then go back home and try to steer your creativity towards that for the sake of success.” Landon calls it 'WTF Art' and believes that his world of art changed when he managed to find a platform different from the traditional art world of galleries, museums and fairs. “It was thanks to Burning Man that I was able to conceive the idea of a giant mechanical Pegasus on fire. I'm not saying that the art at BM is all amazing - but I see so much more spirit and truth here. This is what
making art should really be about, excitement, not conformity.” Landon never went to art school and is very grateful for his decision. He hopes to change the 'Art World' with his own art over time. Keeping up during Corona Due to the lockdown for the COVID-19 pandemic, Landon was unable to make large metal sculptures at his communal art space. Instead, he decided to make some new art at home: “I embarked on creating more 2D work and discovered that I had a wealth of 2D material. I started making cyanotype blueprints from all my technical instructions that I make from my 3D CAD models of my Mechanical Sculptures.”
Lockdown art, I use my technical instructions and create some new 2D collage wall pieces. June 2020
“ It all comes together as a new art genre that I haven't been able to name yet...” Landon usually cuts metal parts for his sculptures on a laser cutting machine. He decided to use the leftover cut-out parts, frame them and turn them into a wall piece. According to him, they are the silhouettes of all the parts that he individually designed and engineered and are little works of art on their own. “It all comes together as a new art genre that I haven't been able to name yet, like ‘Mechanical Art’ or ‘Engineering Art’. They're “Kinetic Art” pieces, but that doesn't say it all. You could call them “Automata”, but most people can’t identify it, and it's not recognized as an art genre.” Favourite art works Landon admires the work of Van Gogh but believes that Mother Nature, God, or the Universe (take your pick) is the greatest artist. He lives 'out West' and finds the vast mountain desert valleys of Nevada and the Grand Canyon to be his
BEHIND THE SCENES | ART BY NATURE
L ockdown art, I discover the process of cyanotype blueprints. May 2020
big moment in installing Pegasus at BM, the big crane lifts her in the air. August 2019 A T he long awaited glorious moment, Wings of Glory is working in all its glory, I am in tears and the crowd goes wild. September 2019.
“ I'm proud and grateful to say that my life is really awesome...” favourite art exhibitions. Every time he revisits New York City, he goes to the Museum of Natural History, particularly to look at the dinosaur bones as he considers them to be great works of art. Plans for the future Landon is currently working on a mini, mechanical Pegasus. He wishes to venture more into interactive mechanical human figures, sounds, musical sculptures, giant flowers and
abstract forms inspired by nature. After Corona is over, he intends to travel again and looks forward to seeing friends and family, and being able to give hugs to random strangers again. “I'm proud and grateful to say that my life is really awesome and that I am ‘living the dream’, as dream-like as this reality seems.” v
by Sarah Madani
ART BY NATURE | BEHIND THE SCENES
A big moment in installing Pegasus at BM, the big crane lifts her in the air. August 2019
archy by morecircular.com
I’m a dreamer, maker, designer, goldsmith, collector, biophile, citydweller living in Haarlem, The Netherlands. I approach the creative process as I would extensive research and transl ate my findings into all sorts of creations. With my work I try to make sense of things I don’t understand and question what might be considered obvious. Here's my column!
ART BY NATURE | COLUMN
nature’s way: Roots WITH MEREL SLOOTHEER Maybe becoming a bird nerd was my destiny ever since my parents decided to name me after a pretty cute species: Turdus Merula also known as the common blackbird, or Merel in Dutch. When I was young my grandfather taught me how to distinguish different species of garden-birds, some of the smaller ones were hopping around in my grandparents backyard. I still remember: robin, blue tit, great tit, starling, magpie, crow, raven, rook, sparrow, pigeon… And that's where my knowledge ends, I’m not an actual ornithologist. Not at all, I’m just a nerd that really loves birds.
R ed Cardinal (male), a spiritual messenger, according to local folklore, © Erica Straathof - Brotebeck, Michigan USA.
As a child I loved spending time with my grandparents. They grew their own vegetables and flowers, they taught us about birds and plants, and made their own jam. But this would always be their world, never mine. Not something that I, as a citykid, could experience on my own COLUMN | ART BY NATURE
W e still have it, my grandfathers big book of birds. Family collaboration: I asked my aunt for a photo made by her to illustrate this column. I realized both of our love for nature originates from the same person’s legacy, her father, my grandfather.
at home. I always understood that people, like my grandparents ’got something out of’ nature. But it took me a whole lot of slowing down to recognize that enjoying nature can be an occupation in itself. The more I tried to ’just be’ instead of ’only do’ the more I started to enjoy nature. Or maybe it was the other way around, since me slowing down and me enjoying nature are inextricably linked. Nowadays I consider nature to be a professional entertainer, throwing parties, changing themes each season. It’s a modest party, nothing loud, but it is everywhere, you just have to look for it. There’s the NDM (Natural Dance Music) performed by singing birds with a beat by DJ woodpecker. There’s unparalleled floral decoration, confetti in the shape of crispy autumn leaves and cold winter snow. There are fireworks and light shows every night starring, well… all the stars! There’s the dancing of insects, birds and
" Being able to experience nature like my grandparents did, makes me feel connected to them." wagging dog tails. Honestly petting all the willing animals is a party in itself. And then there are the colours, colours, colours… Shells, leafs, flowers, rainbows, pastel skies… Being able to experience nature like my grandparents did, makes me feel connected to them. I still have one grandmother, which is an amazing privilege, I’m very thankful for her in my life. She used to be a doer, always busy taking care of others. Now, at the age of 97 there’s not much doing, but a lot of being. ”I do enjoy watching those birds,” she often tells me. As a reply I can only agree, because so do I. v ericasbphotography.com by SK
ART BY NATURE | COLUMN
W O R K S H O P C YA N O TY P E
MEMORIES IN BLUE
Jacolien is an artist, she lives and works in Utrecht. In her drawings she uses organic material to emphasize her visual language. Here's my column! jacoliendejong.kunstinzicht.nl
nature's vision: A deeply-rooted desire for air and inspiration WITH JACOLIEN DE JONG There is a deep-rooted desire for light, air and freedom in each of us. With the dawn of spring, the need to go out again increases.
Vulnerability , mixed media with leaf on paper, Jacolien de Jong 2021.
COLUMN | ART BY NATURE
“What we see around us reflects who we are.” The birds wake us up. We yearn for a new beginning. In the forest I find the remains of a broken maple. Inside the heart of the apparently dead stump I perceive new life. Here last year's seeds have taken root. Dozens of young shoots announce the arrival of a new forest. A fragile root system lies open and exposed between the dead wood. Hope gives life. What we see around us reflects who we are. Never before have we felt such a threat to our collective health. Never before have we been so restricted in our freedom. Especially in times of crisis it is important to remain inspired to survive. Our mind wants to stay stimulated, our lungs want to breathe. I depict the roots of my desire in a drawing. My inspiration becomes visible on a fallen tree leaf. v Maple tree
ART BY NATURE | COLUMN
Reïnvent yourself WITH CAITLIN MCCORMACK Caitlin’s craft is one you would expect from a grandma or someone with decades of life experience, but even as a relative youngster, Caitlin creates whole new gramlin worlds which are totally unique. In Art By Nature Edition One, the grand opening featured her wonderful work. These last years Caitlin McCormack has reinvented herself by staying open to new opportunities and true to her original inspiration.
by Sarah Madani
In this time, McCormack taught illustration at an undergraduate level at two different colleges. She had a solo exhibition at Hashimoto Contemporary link in San Francisco and took part in SPRING/BREAK Art with a Philadelphia gallery called InLiqby SK uid. And she has worked as often and diligently as possible, experimenting with colour and introducing new concepts into her artwork: “I started incorporating depictions of
nostalgic objects such as lottery tickets and VHS tapes. I abandoned the binary, black and white colour palette that I had been limiting myself to for so long.” McCormack wanted to work on more than just skeletal animal compositions and decided to start a series of colourful crocheted replicas of everyday objects from her childhood. She did this to explore a comical
Portrait with White Dick Collar, 2019. Crocheted cotton string, glue, wire
CRAFT | ART BY NATURE
“ McCormack “could not resist the urge to incorporate colour” into her osteological works as well.” aspect in her work in contrast to her usual macabre themes: “It felt easier to have a sense of humour about a fictitious pornographic VHS tape than a decaying animal corpse.”
Installation detail from “Granny” at Hashimoto Contemporary in San Francisco, 2019
is a part of and the art world at large. She says that it is very encouraging to see galleries and art institutions now publicly acknowledge the many ways in which they formerly avoided addressing the lack of diversity.
Since the exploration of colour fibers in her new work, McCormack “could not resist the urge to incorporate colour” into her osteological works as well. She has further been experimenting with large scaleworks and ceramics, using which she has been creating haphazard vessels and urns.
She believes that the voices of many artists were previously not heard because white, straight people in positions of power stifled them and says: “I cannot wait to see the amazing things that will be engendered by these desperately-needed systemic changes.”
McCormack says that of late, she has seen “many ebbs and flows” in both the specific creative circuit that she
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, McCormack’s art evolved into more meticulous pieces of
ART BY NATURE | CRAFT
Clockwise from left from “Granny” at Hashimoto Contemporary in San Francisco, 2019: 1 Installation detail; opening night photo; 3 set of four crocheted cotton string, glue, steel pin, and velvet sculptures
work. Confinement to her house and studio - with the exception of socially distanced hikes in the woods and walks around the empty city at night - prompted her to pause and become enveloped by the slow-moving, meditative aspects of her creative process. It was during this time that McCormack commit-
ted to working with coloured fibers, many of which were dyed with natural pigments collected during her hikes. “I just felt like it was okay to spend more hours than I previously would have on certain areas of my work. Spending more time in nature has 33
been a true privilege and I think that impacted my work to a great extent,” she says. Because of the pandemic, McCormack was not able to enjoy art in person which she says is “heart-breaking”. According to her, viewing artwork through a screen has a numbing effect that does not allow her to truly engage with what she observes, however she did spend “many, many hours” transfixed by images and videos of Jeffrey Gibson’s humungous pre- Columbian ziggurat, entitled Because Once You Enter My House It Becomes Our House. detail images of limited crocheted cotton string and glue miniature pizza slice sculptures for Paradice Palase Gallery in Brooklyn NY, 2021 paradicepalase.com
Just before the pandemicshe had the opportunity to see Tim and Eric’s live performance at the Philadelphia Met. The theme of the show partially concerned a viral outbreak, and she was fascinated by how they somehow predicted the current scenario of the world: “It was an amazing show. I like their bizarre sense of humour.” Regarding her plans for the future, McCormack says: “I don’t even remember what it felt like to plan ahead - when events could be scheduled in advance without fear of being interrupted by a pandemic, or dismantled by a coup of white supremacists. Things have been uncertain for so long.” McCormack is currently working on an exhibition proposal with an artist named Kat Ryals, and has a forthcoming solo exhibition at Mortal Machine Gallery in New Orleans. She intends to keep pushing herself but jokingly adds that maybe “she will take a nap”.
“ I would love to somehow be able to communicate with them...” otato Hunt - hand painted and glazed ceramic vessel. Part of P “Seed Vault” at Talon Gallery in Portland OR, 2020 talongallery.com
On being asked about which artist she would like to meet, McCormack mentions the humans who painted the Lascaux caves. Although she claims that she is unsure about who would be more terrified of whom, she says, “I would love to somehow be able to communicate with them, observe their techniques and get a sense of what their mythology was like.”
During the past year, she spent her time watching “A LOT” of Seinfeld and petting and gazing lovingly at her cat. Once Corona is over, the first thing McCormack wants to do is just sit by herself at a coffee shop table and drink a cup of delicious, hot coffee. v caitlintmccormack.com
Thong Mommies - crocheted cotton string, glue, enamel paint, and wire sculpture. Part of “InBreak” installation at SPRING/BREAK Art Show in NYC, 2020
CRAFT | ART BY NATURE
Bird whisperers: The Penguin Bloom Story WITH NOAH BLOOM It’s been 5 years since I spoke to Cameron about Penguin Bloom, his award winning photo book, where he captured the amazing story of his family and Penguin the magpie. Now 5 years later, Sarah, a student at Middlesex University Dubai and the newest contributor to my magazine, has interviewed his son Noah about their new adventures and the movie that was released on Netflix. What an amazing development!
FILM SPECIAL: PENGUIN BLOOM
chest down. This incident took a heavy toll on the Blooms. There was no laughter in their house and Sam had contemplated suicide more than once.
ustralian Film Premiere with director, producers A and Bloom Family.
Recapping the story The tragic yet beautiful story, which managed to capture hearts worldwide, began in 2013. The Blooms – Cam, Sam, and their three sons Rueben, Noah, and Oliver – had gone on their first family vacation to Thailand. While there, Sam faced a near fatal fall and suffered severe injuries. She survived but was paralysed from the 36
Very soon, a beautiful silver-lining emerged amidst the dark and heavy clouds in the family’s lives. This salvation came in the form of an injured baby magpie. The fragile bird was named Penguin by her middle son, Noah. Penguin Bloom rescued Sam from the dark place in her mind and brought the Blooms back to life. A long way Since their first best-selling novel Penguin Bloom: The odd little bird who saved a family, a sequel coauthored by Cam, Sam, and Bradley Grieve has been published. Entitled 'Sam Bloom: Heartache and Birdsong' was released in September '20. The story then hit the ‘big screens’ in January '21, when the movie ‘Penguin Bloom’ was
Noah Bloom with Frankie a rescued bird
FILM SPECIAL | ART BY NATURE
MUSEUM SPECIAL 'EARTH LAUGHS IN FLOWERS'
N oah playing ukulele
Text B ird trainer Paul Mander working on set in the Bloom's house
ART BY NATURE | FILM SPECIAL
" It's a very strange thing to have a film made about your family story. It was quite thrilling." released in Australia and soon after on Netflix to many other territories worldwide. When Noah Bloom, now 18 years’ old, found out that their story was going to be turned into a movie, he was quite surprised: "It's a very strange thing to have a film made about your family story. It was quite thrilling. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I was really pleased with how the movie turned out." Interestingly, the movie was shot in their actual family home, with a few things changed to fit the frame. The local community in their hometown of Sydney reacted positively to the movie because they were well acquainted with the Blooms and their tendency to rescue birds. In their neighbourhood, the Blooms are famously known as "the bird whisperers". Remembering Penguin Smilingly, Noah points out the loud squawking and screeching of wild magpies, which can be heard through the window near him. Sitting in a room lit with soft afternoon sunlight, he recalls one of his favourite moments with Penguin. “I would often play catch with the bird and she would roll onto her back and flay her feet in the air, which was adorable. I would throw a little stick to her, and Penguin would catch it in her beak.”
Andrew Lincoln and baby magpie from set of movie
As Noah explains that magpies are very territorial birds and often attack each other, he looks out towards the squawking from the window. He tells how his mother is trying to protect the one they are currently looking after from the wild magpies on the lawn. Compared to any other bird he has ever come across in his life, Penguin's ability to interact with humans in a personified manner, along with its playfulness, made the bird unique. He says: "It was almost like having a little puppy running around". Noah likes writing music and has composed for BBC Earth podcasts 39
" It was almost like having a little puppy running around".
FILM SPECIAL 'EARTH LAUGHS IN FLOWERS'
as well as the trailer for his mother’s book and other short films. As a musician, he would often play his ukulele or his guitar to the magpie. Once, Penguin was lying on its back and fell asleep to Noah strumming a tune on his ukulele. Noah says that a vast majority of the photos of Penguin and the family which were taken by Cam were not staged. Although there were a few times that they had to make the bird strike a pose, it was often always Penguin doing her own thing in front of the camera. Saying Goodbye to Penguin Eventually, around ftwo years later, Penguin left home. The family had to go to Italy for Sam's Kayaking World Championship, and when they returned, Penguin, who had always been free to come and go, had permanently moved out. Noah says that he often gets asked whether he misses the magpie: "We had Penguin for so long, I don't really get upset about the bird not being with us. It would be lovely if Penguin was still here, but we're glad that she's living her own life separate from us." 40
Director Glendyn Ivin
Looking ahead Next up in the Blooms’ lives, Sam is once again going to the World Championships for surfing. There has also been a small conversation about another book down the track. "I don't really know what is next in our lives. It's funny to be asked that; I think we've reached a pretty high peak with the film being released, and we're kind of cruising down slowly and returning to a more normal existence," he says. There is no doubt that the highly talented and persevering Bloom family has a lot more in store waiting on their horizons.v
penguinthemagpie.com Sam Bloom
Naomi Watts and Sam Bloom on set
Griffin Murray-Johnston who plays Noah
Penguin stealing a tea bag in the film.
FILM SPECIAL | ART BY NATURE
Mother earth WITH GARRET KANE
In the three years since Garret Kane was featured in Art by Nature Magazine, there is much that he has explored. “I sort of switched my focus from producing these largerthan-life scale works to more experimentation by constantly leaving my comfort zones.” The sculptor and animator says that before dedicatedly honing any specific styles and techniques, he wanted to discover every material (both digital and physical) that he could use. T
Protetor Dos Corais 2015 - 2017, 3D printed plastic, branches, drift wood, raw minerals, feathers, clay, oil paint, acrylic paint, preserved moss, preserved flowers, fake flowers, monoammonium phosphate crystals, hobby kits, glue. 15” x 12” x 8”
by Sarah Madani
NATURE THROUGH THE EYES OF | ART BY NATURE
Chlorosapiens 2018, Wood, plaster, aluminum foil, cement, glue, stains, branches, roots, mud, found living moss. Average: 84” x 48” x 60”
ART BY NATURE | NATURE THROUGH THE EYES OF
" I have to admit, there were a lot of headaches..." All of his efforts have brought about a sort of renaissance in his art. He is more interested in the process and says that he has “gone inward”. The artist’s work now combines art, nature, and technology and explores their influence on humankind. Kane’s work also reflects current issues such as climate change.
End of the Road This period of discovery was not easy for him: “I have to admit, there were a lot of headaches. 3D printing, kiln firing ceramics, glazes, metal plating, sintering, crystal growing, learning photography, 3D animation, slip casting, and mold making, along with all the other bits and pieces of things were arduous.” After all the hard work, the long haul proved to be successful as Kane managed to get close to the end of the road: “Of course, you are never there - that’s not the point. But I think I’m getting somewhere in which all these disparate media are starting to converge in a pleasing way. Or at least in a way that pleases me both aesthetically and ideologically.”
Coronavirus When the coronavirus came along, Garret Kane was for the most part unaffected: “I was already on the path of inner development when the pandemic struck. It kind of just fit what I was doing. I was a little like ‘Oh now everyone will know what it’s like to be alone all day!’”, he adds jokingly. Once Corona is over, the first thing Kane says that he will do is go to a bar and speak to people without masks on. The second thing would be to visit Portugal. In the last three years, he has resided in Mexico City followed by Brazil. His art went on show at the World Trade Centre and he had a few other group shows. Now, Kane says that he is embarking on a “year-long odyssey” to find the best place to set up his permanent studio outside of New York. Interestingly, he is currently writing a sci-fi novel titled Seraphoids which 45
“ I think that profoundly impacted my relation ship to nature and life forever.” takes inspiration from the artworks he has previously made. The novel is heavily influenced by the US national parks of Zion, Bryce Canyon, Yellowstone, Badlands, Acadia and the Bay of Fundy where Kane spent long hours camping and hiking. Additionally, the book draws inspiration from the time he spent volunteering at the Galapagos Islands and hiking through Patagonia. The influence of nature on his book sprung up when Kane was a young boy. He had a troubled childhood and was sent on the Outward Bound program in the mountains of Oregon. “I think that profoundly impacted my relationship to nature and life forever.” Change in the art world According to Kane, the recent changes prominently visible in the world of art are a “good thing”. He says, “I think we’ve all watched the rise of Blockchain art with open mouths.” Although, Kane believes that while it makes art more accessible, it simultaneously blurs the line between what is and what is not fine art – something which to him has always been clear. He says that with the new developments in the art world, everyone has been forced to change their 46
Neon god 2020, Plastic, copper wire, resin, gold foil, LED 84” x 48” x 60”
methods. “As much as I love 3D art, I will always prefer to use my hands and body. I enjoy physicality. Doing large installs that bridge traditional and digital.” Admired Art and Artists Some of the art exhibitions of the past year which highly impressed Kane include The David Altmejd show at Gallery Perrotin, Jacolby Satterwhite’s show ‘We Are In Hell
Gestates 2020, Aquaresin, live succulents. 5”x ”5” x 6”
When We hurt Each Other’ (which he considers to be a wonderful example of fusing the digital with the real), and the Cajsa von Zeipel’s show at Company Gallery (which absolutely blew him away). He is also very excited to see what comes out of the experiential art center Superblue. If Kane ever got to meet an artist, he claims that in a “pure fanboy sense” he would pick David Altmejd. He adds that if given the chance to pick a dream collaborator, he would choose Patrick Murphy, founder of Elastic Studio. Even though he wouldn’t call it fine art, Kane admires Electric Studios work because “it’s next level digital and they do a lot of practical FX too, which is a dying breed”. Now Kane’s current goal is to get his studio up and running in order to design and fabricate large scale works. Once his studio is ready, he intends to resume applying for commissions and, hopefully one day, hire like-minded artists to help him. He is also very eager to complete his novel as soon as possible. Kane wishes to turn it into an interactive experience that is filmed using a blend of 3D and physical sculptures. When the book is complete, he wants to merchandise its characters by making affordable sculptures that are still beautiful and unique at a slightly larger volume. v
ransmutations Lamp 2020, Detritus, organic material, T epoxy clay, preserved moss, patinas. 9” x 9” 20”
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