I’ve always loved long-exposure photography. There’s something special in how a camera captures the night and it’s clear to see that there’s something special in the way Peter Bialobrzeski captures it too. Bialobrzeski is a leading German documentary photographers and the Professor for photography at the University of the Arts Bremen. Over the last eight years he has published eight books and has also taken part in a number of international exhibitions. In 2003 and 2010 he won the prestigious World Press Photo Award.
While Bialobrzeski’s work doesn’t deal exclusively in night photography, I thought I’d share a few of his shots with you today. Much of his work focuses on the huge changes that have been impacting on the cities in the East and especially the effects of post-industrial architecture on the landscape. His images often buzz with the frenzied glow of neon lights or flash bright with the orange of speeding cars. These are images of cities in moments of flux – beautiful yet terrifying.
Wooden floors. Wooden utensils. Wooden furniture. I love it all and I have a particular soft spot for wooden toys – that’s why I love these ‘FaceMaker’ and ‘ShapeMaker’ sets by the UK design studio millergoodman. Each set contains 25 wooden blocks, with each one hand printed and made of environmentally-friendly wood.
The sets allow you to make and create your own faces or designs in an open-ended game that’s suitable for kids and adults. The variety of images that can be made really is impressive and the simple minimal shapes and colors are just fantastic. Both ‘FaceMaker’ and ‘ShapeMaker’ are available from the millergoodman Shhhop.
If you’re looking for a nice track to kick off your week then can I recommend you check out the video for Michael Kiwanuka’s ‘I’ll Get Along’. It’s a lovely song and listening to it is bound to put a little extra spring in your step. I really like the vibe of this ‘BBC Sound of 2012’ winner and the video captures the light and breezy nature of his music perfectly. Directed by Adam Powell, the video hits the tone of the song just right, filling everyday moments with a warm fuzzy feeling. Filmed in the UK, the video shows Kiwanuka as he makes his way through the countryside and everywhere he goes he seems to spread his good vibes. It’s a simple video but it works really well.
‘I’ll Get Along’ is taken from Kiwanuka’s critically-acclaimed debut LP ‘Home Again’ which is currently on release through Polydor Records (and comes out tomorrow, May 8 in the States).
I think what I love most about the work of William Edmonds is the sheer variety of things that he creates. Describing himself as an “artist, musician and trainee potter”, Edmonds is also one third of the excellent Nous Vous collective. A quick skim through his portfolio shows just how easily he seems to approach different mediums – from ceramics, to woodwork; from woodblock print to collage – it really is an inspiring body of work.
Yet while Edmonds seems to work in a large number of mediums, everything he creates still feels uniquely like his own. It’s wonderful to see someone make something in their own style and not have the medium take over completely. I’m particularly fond of his pottery work, and I think it’s wonderful to see how his two-dimensional drawings translate into three-dimensional objects. Make sure to check out more of what he does online here.
While the Italian artist Matteo Massagrande may have all the skill and technique of an old master there is something far less romantic about his work – and for that reason, there is something far more interesting about it too. His series of empty interiors is one which is particularly striking. His blunt depiction of empty apartments is filled with desolation, and the feeling of emptiness that he creates is almost existential.
Capturing these spaces in their own unique moments of deterioration, these private rooms have now reached their end. These spaces, which were once full of life, have now become little more then four walls. Massagrande paintings feel like commemorations to these rooms – not celebrations. His cynical depictions are realized with beautiful subtle colors and a stunning sense of light. Despite his talents, these images are not impressive swan songs to moments past, instead they feel far more like we are sharing the final intimate moments of a room and catching a final haunted glimpse at the fleeting beauty that remains.
‘Noisy Jelly’ is an amazing prototype project created by two students at Paris’s ‘L’Ensci Les Ateliers’ – Raphaël Pluvinage and Marianne Cauvard. The project works as a game – asking players to make and mould their own unique colored shapes out of jelly. Once the jelly has set it becomes a unique musical instrument unlike anything I’ve seen before. The video above shows exactly how the project works and the finished result really is fantastic looking. Pluvinage and Cauvard are also quick to add that there is absolutely no sound editing in the video – what you see is what you get!
Working on parts of Arduino and Max/Msp, the prototype uses a combination of elements to define the sounds that it creates. From the wiggling of the jelly, to the natural pressure sensitivity of it, and the vibrations of the finger – ‘Noisy Jelly’ combines these elements to create a spectrum of sounds which perfectly suits the oddness of Jelly. It’s a fantastic concept and one which I can imagine kids of all ages would love. Hopefully this project moves on from just being a prototype and someday soon becomes a reality.
Freelance designer Zoë Mowat lives and works in Montreal. Her ‘Cache’ cabinet is just one of a number of great pieces which she has designed over the last few years. Combining color, material and form in unique ways – Zoë creates work which continually strives to question the value of objects and what it means to have them.
Her combination of simple forms, smooth lines and bold colors are really fantastic. Her designs feel fresh and her use of materials are appealing. Her ‘Cache’ cabinet is a really good example of what she does so well. Here we see solid walnut sitting beside a simple grey and a strong blue; together they form a cabinet which is as fun and playful as it is simple and elegant. For me, it’s a winning combination and I’d love to have one of these in my house.
I love this work by the London-based illustrator Evgenia Barinova. Originally from Russia, Evgenia moved to the UK a few years ago to complete the final year of an illustration course. Her geometric illustrations are really beautiful and I love the subtle use of texture in what she draws.
The way in which she draws figures is also something which I totally love. Their strange and heavy proportions give them real character and personality and their soft shapes really contrasts nicely against the sharp environments that they exist in. Evgenia has a large amount of great work in her portfolio which you should definitely go check out.