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Blog Archive May 2011

Monday, May 23, 2011

Solar snowflakes

It’s hard to believe, but these divine glitter sized shape forms are actually tiny microphotovoltaic cells. Did you ever think solar could be this cool?

I know I’m a textile designer, and random repeat patterns rock my boat, but truly......it’s a beautiful thing.

The ability of light to produce electrons, and thus electricity, has been known for more than a hundred years, but these little snowflakes take solar to a new level. Each cell is formed on silicon wafers, etched and then released  in hexagonal shapes.

They could revolutionize the way solar energy is used, in textiles and clothing, turning a person into a walking solar battery charger. From 14 to 20 micrometers thick (a human hair is approximately 70 micrometers thick), they are 10 times thinner than conventional 6-inch-by-6-inch brick-sized cells using 100 times less material to generate the same amount of electricity as standard solar cells.

All this, and soooooooooooo beautiful. Ten out of ten from Mama Bird.

If you haven’t had the good fortune to come across Andy Goldsworthy’s work......then be prepared to be amazed.

I first found out about Goldsworthy whilst I was studying textile design in Glasgow in 1991. He had already been creating his amazing art pieces for fourteen years, and my flatmate, a sculptor, was completely obsessed with his work. It wasn’t long before I was too. Twenty years on, with a vast catalogue of site specific sculptures to his name, he is still, without doubt, my top pick.

Goldsworthy is a British sculptor, photographer and environmentalist producing  sculptures and land art around the world. He works almost exclusively with the materials he finds in the outdoor environment. He is the grandmaster of wrapping, filling, shaping and balancing. Snow, ice, maple leaves, dandelion heads, twigs, pebbles -  wherever he is, Goldsworthy uses whatever happens to be  around him. Much of his work is ephemeral and he records his creations in colour photographs, many of which, with the accompanying text, form an integral part of his work.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Knitty, Gritty and Lego?

The work of two artists is creatively, and literally, filling gaps at locations all around the world.

You’ll remember our previous post on Pothole Gardens. These guys are patching holes with two completely different materials.

Jan Vormann’s material of choice is lego....which he uses to fill in damaged or decaying brick or stone walls. The visual effect is rather surreal...theres something quite odd but strangly captivating about the finished ‘artworks’. Dispatchwork is an ongoing global project with roots in Bocchigano, Italy. With a growing following and requests for participation, he has broadened the concept to dispatchers worldwide, and the phenomonen has already spread to over 35 countries.

Juliana Santacruz Herrera is a girl after my own heart, working with colourful yarns and braids to repair ugly potholes on the streets of Paris. Once again, the effect is quite surreal but beautiful, with splashes of colour bringing streetscapes to life.


Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Derek Jarman's Garden

Derek Jarman’s (1942-1994) public image is that of a filmmaker, who dwelled on themes of sexuality  and violence. He was best known for his films Sebastiane, Jubilee and Caravaggio. He was outspoken about homosexuality and his never ending public fight for gay rights, most notably he was a leading campaigner against Clause 28 in the UK. He also broke new ground in creating and expanding the fledgling form of ‘pop video’.

In 1986 Jarman was diagnosed as HIV positive, and was one of a handful of public figures who discussed HIV publically at that time. By the time of his 1993 film ‘Blue’, in which Jarman describes his life and vision, he was losing his sight and dying of AIDS related complications.

He was in fact, a very private man, and chose to live out the remainder of his life at a tiny fishermans cottage called ‘Prospect Cottage’ in Kent, on the south coast of England. The solitude and silence attracted him to what was in all reality one of the most harsh and barren landscapes possible ....within a stones throw of Dungeness nuclear power station.

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