We havenâ€™t featured many photographers on our blog but weâ€™ve recently found a favorite. Mary Jo Hoffman is the creator behind these captivating photographs of found objects from nature. The Minnesota-based artist started a personal project in 2012 called, Still, where she posts fragments of nature daily. The compositions and outcome has been nothing but phenomenal. On an interview with Dearest Nature she shares with us a bit about her kinship with nature:
â€œI believe my connection to nature has a lot to do with beauty.Â I am a visual artist, and I love design, and architecture, and art.Â But in the end, I think nature does beauty best.Â I can walk the dog on the same four-mile path every day for a year, and still be captivated most days by the variety and beauty of those surroundings.â€
â€œI also love the solitude of natural spaces, especially wide open spaces like prairies.Â I never wear an iPod or headphones when I walk in nature. Â I want to hear the wind in the trees, the birds, and the skittering in the fallen leaves. I use my walks to gather my thoughts.Â I am guessing some would call it a kind of daily meditation practice.Â I suppose it is.Â I almost always come home more centered and peaceful.â€
More of her work can be seen on her blog and on Instagram.
Images: Courtesy of Mary Jo Hoffman.
We saw quite a few rock sculptures on our trip through the Canadian Rockies but the pieces were never quite the magnitude of these created by Michael Grab, the master of stone balancing.Â The physical ingredients of his art are rocks and gravity and the metaphysical ingredients are patience and an open mind. â€œGravity Glueâ€ is the name he has given to his stone balancing practice of which he says:
â€œThe process boils downÂ to contemplative vertical stoneÂ arrangement; involvingÂ patience, problem-solving, critical thinking, adaptation, slow-breathing, steady hands, and a hostÂ of other practiced skillsâ€¦â€
â€œGravity is the only â€œGlueâ€ that holds these structures in equilibrium.â€
â€œOver the past few years of practicing rock balance, simple curiosity has evolved into therapeutic ritual, ultimately nurturing meditative presence, mental well-being, and artistry of design. Alongside the art, setting rocks into balance has also become a way of showing appreciation, offering thanksgiving, and inducing meditation. Through manipulation of gravitational threads, the ancient stones become a poetic dance of form and energy, birth and death, perfection and imperfection. they become a reflection of ourselves in a way; precariously sturdy, mysterious and fragile.â€
You can see more of his work on his website, Facebook and Instagram.
Images: Courtesy of Michael Grab.
With today being Halloween we thought posting the strangely beautiful embroidered portraits
by Maurizio Anzeri apropos. The Italian-born, London-based artist uses found photographs and with sewing, embroidery and drawing gives them an eerie and unsettling aura. We didnâ€™t find his website but we did find his biography on Saatchi Gallery and this artist statement on Escape Into Life:
“I work with sewing, embroidery and drawing to explore the essence of signs in their physical manifestation. I take inspiration from my own personal experience and observation of how, in other cultures, bodies themselves are treated as living graphic symbols. I then use sewing and embroidery in a further attempt to re-signify, and mark the space with a man-made sign, a trace. The intimate human action of embroidery is a ritual of making and reshaping stories and history of these people. I am interested in the relation between intimacy and the outer world.”
â€œI put tracing paper over the photo and draw on the face until it develops. â€¦â€¦When I begin the stitching something else happens, drawing will never do what thread will.â€
Images: Courtesy of Maurizio Anzeri.