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“The Other, that I have tried to represent with nobility and a certain closeness, an ‘Other’ that lives more and more in “urban jungles”, an ‘Other’ that I have watched, but who in return watches me as well. who lives in “urban jungles”.
“Animals fascinate me as singular and beautiful beings, which we have to take care of. For several years, I have been photographing them and through my photography, I try to portray them in their beauty, and, in a way, to get closer to them”
Paulette Tavormina’s series ‘Natura Morta’ – a beautiful response in photographic form to the Old Dutch, Spanish, and Italian Masters of the 17th century – Giovanna Garzoni, Francesco de Zurbarán and Adriaen Coorte – as intensely personal interpretations of their timeless, universal stories.
“I have always been attracted to the magic of objects that evoke memories. Being a sentimental person, capturing moments in photography brings me back to past feelings so I can savor them again.”
“My photographs tell stories. The “Figs” express the Sicilian family history. I can imagine they are from my brother’s tree that was a graft from my father’s tree and in turn a graft of my grandfather’s tree. Snails on the branches are from my cousin’s villa in Palermo, next to the abandoned Giuseppe Lampedusa’s villa (author of Il Gattopardo, The Leopard). Lampedusa died in 1957. Snails at his villa look the same as snails at my cousin’s villa.”
Available as a photo book.
Sebastiaan Bremer‘s hand painted dot patterns create an explosion of colours and breathe a new life into these perfectly composed, meticulously painted and coloured flowers. Using already existing photographs and prints from a 1948 book called “Bloemen” (Flowers), he calls for a new perception of the process of ‘re-thinking’ a visual document .
What a beautiful way to start the new year with this series by famous Dutch painter Jan van Huysum called “Twelve Months of Flowers”
Jan van Huysum (1682 – 1749) was a still life painter, who gained a long-lasting international fame with his exuberant floral arrangements and technical virtuosity (kept in secret even from his family). His profuse bouquets were organized with sweeping rhythms that draw the eye in circular patterns throughout the composition. He was born and lived his whole life in Amsterdam, but insisting on working out the details of his paintings he spent every summer in Haarlem, already a major horticultural center in his day, to study the state of flowers in bloom and demise.
JeeYoung Lee is a young artist from Korea, born 1983. Her studio is just 3x6m in the center of Seoul, but enough to create her amazing hand-crafted works. Literally. Everything in her art is handcrafted. With extraordinary patience for weeks, sometimes months, she creates the fabric of a universe born from her mind, then puts herself in this theatrical performance and clicks the shutter. That’s it. Hard work, fantasy and no photoshop. Her art is described as a fusion of installations, pop art, surreal landscapes and photography.
Philippe Halsman‘s series ‘Jumps‘ – “Starting in the early 1950s I asked every famous or important person I photographed to jump for me. I was motivated by a genuine curiosity. After all, life has taught us to control and disguise our facial expressions, but it has not taught us to control our jumps. I wanted to see famous people reveal in a jump their ambition or their lack of it, their self-importance or their insecurity, and many other traits.”
Poetic title and beautiful black and white images; I guess however you would never imagine what they refer to. The highly aesthetic project “Return of the Ashes” actually is … a social campaign.
In 2014 the Forestry department of Thailand looked at their statistics and what they found was quite shocking: since 1985 the country suffered over 75.000 wildfires! They caused massive destruction over 34.000* acres per year and this is an equivalent of approximately 34.000.000 trees!
In the latest years wildfire has been a serious global problem destroying wood areas in extremely large scale. Especially in hot tropical climates, like this of Thailand, it is also a quite frequent accident. The main concern however was that 90% of them were caused by human and only 10% were natural. In addition to this disturbing issue, there has been another one in regards to their suppression – a shortage of firefighters and inadequate equipment.
Something had to be done urgently to increase public awareness about the threat of the wildfire in Thailand’s forests. The department turned for a partnership to the local company HHK Intertrade (a leader of imported goods on stationary and art supplies of world class brands) which in turn collaborated with the Swiss manufacturer of high quality writing and drawing instruments Caran D’Ache and the advertising company Ogilvy & Mather Bangkok, Thailand. The task was to draw the attention of the people to the escalating situation, to educate as well to engage them, and also to collect profit for new equipment for the firefighters to combat wildfires more effectively.
They came with a great idea on two levels.
The first target was to gather money through the selling of beautifully designed and packaged artisanal product by Caran D’ Ache. Using selected pieces of burning trees, barks, branches and leaves as a symbol of rebirth after the destruction, they produced limited edition sets of 6 charcoal pencils each. They were sold in the brand’s shops and online, and the funds were then donated to the firefighting department to increase the number of firefighters and supplying them with better equipment.
On the other hand, the team of Ogilvy & Mather Bangkok held an exhibition to raise public awareness by demonstrating the negative impacts of the increasing wildfires – upon the global climate, water resources, wildlife, soil quality and etc. With minimalist approach in the black and white palette they created stunning posters and installations to portray the problem, and exposing all facts and figures in form of visual data to engage deeply the people.
Did it have a positive outcome? According to the companies’ statement within two weeks all charcoal sets were sold out and the exhibition was visited by 200.000 people. Moreover, the exhibition became one of top 4 talks that people discussed about in Thailand for months. The most valuable result however was that the campaign provoked the government sector to be more rigorous in monitoring the incidents and held many training seminars for people in the forest areas to know how to control the incidents.
Click on the image below to see a short video about the campaign.
*there is a significant discrepancy in these numbers in different sources starting from 34.000 acres up to 59.000 acres, but I used these presented on the official site of the campaign.