Immersed in the flora of Cape Town’s Table Mountain as a child, artist Shannon Clegg has always had an affinity for unembellished, humble materials, particularly those harvested naturally and shaped into innovative forms. This now lifelong inclination emerges in Bouquet, her series of biophilic sculptures comprised of dozens of flowers dried and pressed into intricately constructed mesh. Hollow and vase-like, the preserved works extend the vibrancy and supple forms of purple statice or burgundy kangaroo paw from approximately ten days to upwards of five years.
Clegg developed a hand-mold process that she utilizes to shape and preserve cut plants. Each three-dimensional piece takes about six weeks to complete.
The vibrant embroideries of the U.K.-based artist known as Sew Beautiful capture the awe-inspiring breadth of the outdoors within a tiny wooden hoop.
Layering colourful French knots and long, straight threads in neutral tones, the artist transforms thin organza bases into fiber renditions of forests dense with autumn leaves or aerial shots capturing wide swaths of landscape.
Ecuadorian artist Beto Val alchemizes vintage illustrations into bizarre compositions that blend fruits with fowl and aquatic life with land animals.
Using imagery available through the public domain, Val cuts and repositions fins, wings, and scaly talons into surreal creatures: round owl faces peer out from pineapples, autumn leaves sprout from tropical birds, and a rendering evocative of a biological chart displays fish with bodies made of strawberries, brains, and an early, industrial locomotive.
Blending the analog illustrations with the artist’s digital manipulations, the collages encompass a range of characters from the whimsical to the absurd.
Temporarily occupying the site of the ancient Housesteads Roman Gatehouse at Hadrian’s Wall, a vibrant installation by British artist Morag Myerscough recreates the structure that once stood on the bucolic landscape in northern England. “The Future Belongs To What Was As Much As What Is” is a bright, architectural reinterpretation of the 2nd-century building, reaching the same 8.5 meters high and 12.5 meters wide as the original construction. A staircase tucked inside the scaffolding allows visitors to climb to an upper outpost and look over the landscape, offering a view that’s been unavailable for the last 1,600 years.
To create the patchwork, typographic facade, Myerscough collaborated with community members and poet Ellen Moran. Each panel is bright and geometric, and while some reference artifacts found on the site, many contain messages relating to borders, connecting the historic landmark that once defined the edge of the Roman Empire to contemporary immigration issues.