Absence and loss can be tricky concepts to convey in visual art, but sculptor Kirsi Kaulanen has found a way. In her 2011 sculpture Luola (Cave), Kaulanen uses industrial materials and modern technology to affectingly express the disappearance of the natural world. To highlight the loss of plant species in her native Finland, Kaulanen built a three-sided structure of stainless steel and used lasers to cut the shapes of plants in danger of extinction. She uses lights to throw the silhouettes of the plants onto the surrounding walls, creating an effect of shadows, or shades, like the ghosts of dead flowers. Visitors can enter the cave, combining their shadows with those of the plants, as a reminder that one day, we too will be gone.
You can see more of Kaulanen’s work at the Korundi cultural center in Rovaniemi, Finland, or at her website.
For those of you who are not regular readers of Michele’s Art of Science series, what I have always found fascinating about discussing art and the process of creation with Michele, is her engagement with the current art world and the history of art, with an honesty and clarity that is quite brave – when so many artists armor themselves (like scientists) against public judgment in overly complex jargon.
I stumbled upon the work of animator and illustrator Jack Cunningham the other day, when I saw 3D prints of his dinosaurs featured on CoolHunting. So I went looking for more, and I found his tumblr, which is full of pictures but almost devoid of words. And then I found…nothing. So I really don’t know who Jack Cunningham is, where he’s from, or what his favorite color is, but I guess he likes dinosaurs. This drawing of people and dinosaurs on a busy city street made me wonder what life might be like if events had taken a different turn 65 million years ago.
It also means that you have one week left to pledge your support in the confidence that any pledge is actually a pre-order. You can get a print copy for only $15. My fellow parents know that $15 is actually a pretty good deal for an illustrated book that about which you are enthusiastic – and, if you are not enthusiastic about reading, art, and prehistoric animals, I really don’t know what you are doing here.