Barnes & Webb Employ a Creative Solution to Help the Honeybees

BarnesWebb-Bees-1

You may have noticed that bees have been popping up here and there and the Fox is Black recently. Why? Quite simply: they’re important, not only to our own well-being but for that of the greater Earth too. Unfortunately in recent years their numbers have been dropping and their environments disrupted. Barnes & Webb of London have come up with a wholly creative solution that attempts to mitigate the issue. Their service offers bees right in your backyard and all the delicious honey that comes with doing so. What grabbed my attention was their detail to design, branding, and the arts, as they cleverly combine the three in order to uplift their service and aid the honeybee’s plight.

BarnesWebb-Bees-9

Apes curamus et nos curant (we look after honey bees and they look after us); the tiny insects are integral to the environment but also economies. In the past 60 years, the number of honeybee colonies has fallen drastically from six million to two-and-a-half million present. According to the US Department of agriculture, one mouth in three benefits from honeybee pollination. That’s huge. How huge? As of June, President Obama launched a task force tasked with protecting the bees, investing $50m into research and action to combat the decline.

Environmental responsibility is becoming a popular public affair and more light is being shed on the honeybee issue. It’s businesses like Barnes & Webb that demonstrate, quite optimistically, how we can tackle these topics with a flair of creativity.

BarnesWebb-Bees-4

Barnes & Webb install and manage beehives across London, providing raw, local honey and all the pleasures of urban beekeeping without any of the hassle. The concept is more or less as a result of a key insight: you don’t have to have 100 acres to help the honeybee. Every lawn, every yard, and even rooftops can pitch in. When it comes to honeybees, the smallest change can affect the global food supply—so customers can rest assured knowing they’re making a valuable contribution.

The creative approach trickles down into the product itself too. The package design is smart, clean, and minimal, which makes a traditional product feel modern and makes honey and the honeybee stand out on your shelves or kitchen cupboards. Engaging and proactive.

BarnesWebb-Bees-3

Aside from the packaging, Barnes & Webb work with local talent to further help their brand stand out and place the honeybee on a pedestal. They’ve collaborated with designer Anthony Burrill to produce a one off print and identity, which the brand uses extensively, from posters to advertising. They’ve also seen commercial work be produced on behalf of Olivia Whitworth, an English architect turned illustrator, who adds charm and personality to the company’s image.

BarnesWebb-Bees-8 BarnesWebb-Bees-2

The fun doesn’t stop at their packaging or advertising—just last week over 30 artists and illustrators created unique artworks that went on display and were auctioned off to fund the company’s not-for-profit campaign activities. Of the talent featured was Burrill, Edward Monaghan, Jean Julilen, Essy May, Adrian Johnson, Robert Hunter, Jody Barton, Stevie Gee, and more.

BarnesWebb-Bees-5

Connecting bee lovers and keepers, artists, designers, environmentalists, and the wider public, Barnes & Webb use these events to ultimately raise awareness on the issues faced by the honeybee and other important pollinators. They believe in “combining the creativity, knowledge and passion of individuals and organizations to create initiatives that benefit the bees and our environment. A powerful network for positive change.”

BarnesWebb-Bees-6

While it’s often easy to get cynical when it comes to environmental affairs, Barnes & Webb’s approach is refreshingly optimistic. Their service demonstrates that the issue can be aided with creativity and design.

Whether we like it or not we have a duty towards the planet, as recent years have seen us leave a negative impact. What many forget is that we therefore have the power to incur the inverse and work towards responsibly inhabiting what we’ve come to know as home. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, right? I believe Barnes & Webb are on the forefront of this positive change, their approach will serve to hopefully inspire others.

BarnesWebb-Bees-10

The aforementioned collaboration and event was the first of many that the Barnes & Webb has planned. Follow the brand’s Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for updates on forthcoming events.

September 24, 2014 / By

Ethan Cook is a Painter Without Paint

Ethan Cook

Brooklyn based artist Ethan Cook is a painter that doesn’t paint… or at least, he doesn’t paint in any traditional way. Instead, his work is deeply concerned in exploring the elemental aspects of painting. At the heart of what he does lies a desire to investigate and deconstruct the physical elements that make up paintings themselves.

Ethan Cook

Cook is an artist who is interested in materials. His visual outcomes are derived from the materials he uses and for Cook, that means that painting is as much about canvas as it is about paint. It is through this belief that he produces his own material; creating his own canvas through a rather labor-intensive process with a loom.

In the work shown here we can see examples of the artist mixing canvas with canvas. It emphasizes the fundamental elements of the art and also brings a beautiful mix of textures and tones.

Ethan Cook

While his work may be constructed through a rigid set of rules and restrictions, there’s also a beautiful understated minimalism in his compositions that can’t be ignored. While his work may explore rather interesting questions about the very nature of the image the formal qualities of his work are just as engaging. I love the confidence and the restraint in this work.

Ethan Cook

See more from Cook here.

September 23, 2014 / By

Ani Kasten’s ‘In The Rough’, Now On View at Heath Ceramics, Los Angeles

Ani Kasten at Heath Ceramics, Los Angeles

A couple weeks ago I stopped by the Heath Ceramics in Los Angeles for the opening of In The Rough, a new ceramics show featuring the work of Ani Kasten. Her work is a balance of roughness and delicacy with many of her glazes replicating the textures of nature, like tree bark or dried up river beds. Complimenting this texture though is always this smooth whiteness or a rigid grid of lines that make seems bring an order to the abstract roughness. Kasten says as much about her work:

The shapes and surface treatments take their influence from plants, water, rocks and clay, as well as from architecture, industry and machinery. The forms integrate these sometimes opposite sensibilities into a composed landscape, such as a stand of bamboo-like, truncated cylinders, perforated with small windows to look like corroded skyscrapers, or a simple, pure form such as a smooth sphere, marked on its surface with an off-center, wandering imprint, like bird tracks in the sand. The pieces are often truncated, off-center, weathered and perforated, combining natural movement and an apparent state of organic deterioration that invokes the cycle of life, death, decay.

The show is on display until October 5th and pieces are available on the Heath website.

Ani Kasten at Heath Ceramics, Los Angeles

Ani Kasten at Heath Ceramics, Los Angeles

Ani Kasten at Heath Ceramics, Los Angeles

Ani Kasten at Heath Ceramics, Los Angeles

Ani Kasten at Heath Ceramics, Los Angeles

Ani Kasten at Heath Ceramics, Los Angeles

September 23, 2014 / By

Arist Toshitaka Aoyagi’s Explores Color Bleeds With Beautiful Results

Colors by Toshitaka Aoyagi

Colors by Toshitaka Aoyagi

Toshitaka Aoyagi is an artist from Tokyo, Japan. Recently he has been experimenting with color; creating an elegantly simply series called – wait for it – ‘Color’.

Specifically the work is an exploration into color bleeding, with the artist creating a number of pale white shelves that include a tiny hint of a fluorescent color. The end result is a beautifully minimal exploration into the power of color. I love it.

Colors by Toshitaka Aoyagi

Colors by Toshitaka Aoyagi

Colors by Toshitaka Aoyagi

Colors by Toshitaka Aoyagi

More projects from Toshitaka Aoyagi can be viewed on Behance.

September 22, 2014 / By

You’ve Never Seen a Clock Quite Like ‘A Million Times Project’ by Humans since 1982

A million Times Project, 2013

Per Emanuelsson and Bastian Bischoff founded their studio in 2009/2010 while they were both taking a Masters course at Gothenburg’s School of Design and Crafts. Realizing that they were both born in 1982, they chose Humans since 1982 as their name, then they found a studio to work from in Stockholm and they’ve been making work together ever since.

Perhaps their most exciting project to-date has been the ‘A Million Times Project’. Started last year, this project presents time in a way I’m sure you’ve never seen before. Graphically conceptual, their design combines engineering and mechanics to create an incredible kinetic installation that takes the arms of a traditional analogue clock and turns them into something new and exciting. Check out the video below to see what I mean.

Using 288 analogue clocks, the original work uses an iPad to create a series of wonderful visual patterns; playfully turning a collection of minimalist analogue clockfaces into a fully-functioning digital clock. Now a series, the duo have worked on a number of variations, with each piece being unique. They describe these creations as “objects unleashed from a solely pragmatic existence”. And in doing this I feel that they have discovered some wonderfully figurative qualities within their design without detracting from the clocks original function. It’s a pretty commendable achievement… and also it clearly looks amazing!

A million Times Project, 2013

A million Times Project, 2013

A million Times Project, 2013

See more projects from Humans since 1982 on their website.

September 17, 2014 / By

Olafur Eliasson Recontextualizes J.M.W. Turner’s Classical Landscape Paintings

Olafur Elliason Re-Contextualizes J.M.W. Turner's Classical Landscape Paintings

Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Elliasson is well-known for his work in sculptures and large-scale installations, often utilizing light or other natural elements. Recently though he’s been heading into new territory, recontextualizing the paintings of landscape artist J.M.W. Turner into circular paintings, bringing the works to a pure form.

Turner’s ability to shape and frame light in his paintings has had a significant impact on my work….In the Turner colour experiments, I’ve isolated light and colour in Turner’s works in order to extract his sense of ephemera from the objects of desire that his paintings have become. The schematic arrays of colours on round canvases generate a feeling of endlessness and allow the viewer to take in the artwork in a decentralised, meandering way.

It’s an interesting idea from a conceptual standpoint, that he’s transformed the light and colors that J.M.W. Turner saw into a sweeping, endless gradient. The abstraction while seemingly simple is intensely scientific. Eliasson is analysing pigments, paint production and application of colour in order to mix paint in the exact color for each nanometre of the visible light spectrum. An ambitious project with really impactful results.

Olafur Elliason Re-Contextualizes J.M.W. Turner's Classical Landscape Paintings

Olafur Elliason Re-Contextualizes J.M.W. Turner's Classical Landscape Paintings

Olafur Elliason Re-Contextualizes J.M.W. Turner's Classical Landscape Paintings

September 16, 2014 / By

Check Out Nicholas Hanna’s Incredible Bubble Devices

Nicholas Hanna

Artist Nicholas Hanna seems to have a real curiosity for life. He holds a Master of Architecture degree from Yale and an MFA in Media Arts from UCLA. A native of Canada, his work investigates the sensation of wonder and the essential relationship between humans and technology.

Nicholas Hanna

I love his Bubble Devices. These mechanical installations are almost as wide as a room and they create giant bubbles. They’re the sort of things that need to be seen to be believed so fortunately Hanna has shared some videos online:

Driven by a computer, Hanna’s automatic bubble wand is a fantastic construction and the lighting in the video really captures the beauty of these incredibly large bubbles.

You can see more projects from Nicholas Hanna on his website.

September 16, 2014 / By

Watch An Entire Year of the Sky in Less Than Five Minutes

A History of the Sky

One of my favorite films this year has been Boyhood. Shot over a period of 12 years, it tells the story of Mason as his life unfolds during a period between the ages of 6 and 18. Before seeing the film I imagined that it must be a wonderful spectacle; that there must be something incredible about watching a person literally come-of-age on screen. In actuality, there is no real spectacle to Boyhood. If anything, that’s the real strength of the film. Real life is made up of small fleeting moments, and Boyhood captures these in a beautifully uncinematic way. In doing so, it captures something even greater than spectacle and in its subtly it reveals something more profound.

All of this is little more than preamble to introduce Ken Murphy’s “A History of the Sky”. This project is similar to Boyhood in that its premise seems suitably epic yet its lasting impression feels more poetic than astounding. A time-lapse film shot over the period of one year, Murphy reduces the ever changing skies of San Francisco into a mere 5 minute film.

“A History of the Sky enables the viewer to appreciate the rhythms of weather, the lengthening and shortening of days, and other atmospheric events on an immediate aesthetic level: the clouds, fog, wind, and rain form a rich visual texture, and sunrises and sunsets cascade across the screen.” says the self-described programmer, artist, and tinkerer. I think it’s wonderful!

September 15, 2014 / By

Google+