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Monthly Archives: June 2012

Recently I’ve fallen in love with street art created by polish graffiti artist Sainer, who is a member of Etam Crew. His characters have an ethereal quality and he’s super dextrous with a can, spreading his imaginative creations across the mundane urban landscape in Eastern Europe.

What I’m also really loving is his Junkies series – an interactive and interchangeable form of expression I have rarely seen. There are two series: Junkies I and Junkies II.

Check out more of Sainer’s art via intoxicated-demons.com, and also check out the other artists they are showcasing.

Check out more of Etam Crew via their website.


The Open Air Art Museum in Pedvale is located in an idyllic expanse of Latvian countryside that is subject to some of the world’s most extreme climates and boasts some really spectacular sunsets, which is the perfect place to incorporate environmental art into its atmosphere. Finnish artist Jonna Pohjalainen spent some time in 2006 working there and created a breathtaking installation using naturally felled Aspen trees, chosen for their unique forms and shades of grey, turning them into coloured pencils and setting them upright so that the sky itself is incorporated as a backdrop. The shifting light hits the pencils in such a way that you’ll never see the same effect twice, depending on the weather conditions and time of day.

According to Jonna, “While you sharpen your pencils you can see time passing by. Colours bring joy and happiness in our everyday life. I chose a place of my work because of the sunsets. You can sit and meditate near my work and look at the sunsets. Without sun there are no colours and life!” She has carried this idea in some of her other works as well.

See more of Jonna Pohjalainen’s work at environmentalart.net and the Open Air Art Museum’s website.

 

* My apologies for not keeping consistent with my posts as of late – my husband and I just bought our first house (a nice big red brick Victorian that’s over 100 years old!), and are in the process of getting everything ready for the big move and ensuing renovations. Exciting times!

The exponential increase of urban development has choked out many of our green spaces, creating less access to fresh produce for consumption, as well as clean air, forcing us to become more adaptive to our surroundings for sustainability. Many cities worldwide are starting to adopt new ideas in gardening that will change the way we live and breathe by creating vertical gardens, living walls, and sky farms. Since vertical gardens and living walls can be grown on any type of wall structure without the use of soil, and because they can also be grown equally indoors and out, they are increasing in popularity and are beginning to proliferate around the globe. Not only do they look gorgeous and smell fragrant, they also help purify the air naturally.

Patrick Blanc is one of the world’s foremost pioneers in the art of vertical gardening and has developed his own science behind the engineering of his projects. After observing how plants really didn’t need much soil to grow vertically in the wild, he adapted his newly learned techniques into his artistic installations. Using lightweight, low-maintenance materials and vegetation, he has transformed many spaces worldwide.

Here’s a few examples I found on environmentalgraffiti.com of some of the world’s most innovative and coolest looking garden spaces:

Musée du quai Branly in Paris, France

Paris has become a mecca for vertical gardening. This museum is located near the Eiffel Tower and features one of Patrick Blanc’s most famous vertical gardens. This wall measures approximately 200 meters long, and is about 12 meters tall.

Sky Farm, Las Vegas, U.S.A.

This project has been proposed in the City of Las Vegas to create a $200 million sky farm in the city centre. It would become the world’s first 30 story vertical farm, which could bring an estimated $40 million in revenue for the city. Comprised of 30 floors of indoor gardens, with around 100 different types of crops, it would have the potential to feed 72, 000 people every year. Still in the early planning stages, one can only hope that it comes to fruition.

SkyFarm, Toronto, Canada

Toronto is also in the planning stages of a proposed vertical farm called the SkyFarm, which would be built on a mere 1.32 hectares of land in the downtown core and have 58 stories of farming space. It would help feed approximately 35, 000 people a year and would boast 8 million square feet of growing space for crops – producing the same amount as a 420 hectare farm. It is also estimated that it would bring in $23 million in revenue to the city. Here’s hoping everything goes through.

Parabienta Living Wall System, Japan

This garden wall was manufactured and marketed by two Japanese companies. The product they have designed is inexpensive, lightweight, and extremely functional. Running at about $60 a square foot, Parabienta allows for plants to grow vertically and also doubles as a cooling system for the building through the naturally occurring shade that is produced by the plants themselves.

Fondation Cartier, Paris, France

This wall was planted in 1998 and has not been trimmed since. The only maintenance involved with this vertical garden is to have a gardener come by every 2-3 months to remove dead leaves, or to replace dead plants with new ones.

BHV Homme, Paris, France

This popular Parisian department store boasts a 30 meter high vertical garden which includes over 250 species of plants.

Club Med Champs-Elysees, Paris, France

This first-class resort features a breathtaking vertical garden that showcases plants from five different continents and is visible from outside. They light it up at night to create an even more beautiful and luxurious feel to the upscale location. Though smaller than the gardens that are mentioned previously, it stands as a work of art on its own and is representative of the magnificence that can be created through this medium.

Pershing Hall Hotel, Paris, France

This vertical garden can be found in the courtyard of the Pershing Hall Hotel in Paris, and makes the most of its small space to create an elaborate garden.

CaixaForum, Madrid, Spain

The CaixaForum is the newest of the museums in Madrid and is bursting with innovation at every turn. One of the walls on the exterior includes a 24 meter high vertical garden, featuring over 15, 000 and more than 250 species.

Siam Paragon Shopping Center & Emporium Bangkok, Bangkok, Thailand

Vertical gardens can be found all over Bangkok, including the Siam Paragon Shopping Center, and the Emporium Bangkok.

ACROS Fukuoka Prefectural International Hall, Japan

The rooftop at the ACROS Fukuoka building is 100, 000 square feet and features 18 stories with 15 stepped terraces that can be climbed by anyone with the strength and perseverance. The purpose of these terraces is to create a sense of calm and a peaceful environment in which to escape the bustle of the busy city. These terraces include waterfalls and small pools to add to the serene environment.

Living Walls, the Netherlands

This building has been transformed into a living, breathing structure thanks to the plants that grow on it’s surface. Instead of growing in soil, they grow inside a thin layer of felt and rock wool that keeps them clinging in place and they are fed with recycled rainwater that is pumped through the material into their roots.

For more on Patrick Blanc and his vertical gardens, visit his website.

Los Angeles street artist Morley has a quirky way of expressing himself by using very bold typographic posters that bear his image that he wheat pastes across the city. His sense of humor and original take on life as we know it poses as a fresh alternative to the prolific bombardment of advertising that we ingest in even the most mundane of situations. Working against the corporate slogans that we’ve innately memorized, he infuses a truly personal, sympathetic,  and freshly positive mode of thought that inspires hope and creativity in the average pedestrian – at least one would hope. And he isn’t hiding behind the cloak of anonymity – which affords him a more intimate form of delivery of each message. Willing to post anywhere that doesn’t involve caning as a law enforcement tactic, he’s started to branch outwards to spread his word across the world.

So here’s to making this a better planet – a more positive one, and one in which we don’t beat ourselves over the head on a daily basis, just because we don’t keep up with the Joneses.

To see more of Morley’s work, visit his blog.

Amusing tidbit from Morley’s bio:

Wandering the Berlin streets at night with a purpose, German street art collective Mentalgassi has been reinventing the aesthetic quality of public recycling bins, ticket validating machines, and other unsightly urban objects with photographic wheatpastes. The effect is such that these faces often watch you as you walk by them, which is a little creepy, but creative and amusing all the same.

To see more of their work, check out their blog.

Having only 6 years under his belt as a professional photographer, Romain Laurent has come a long way from his origins in the French Alps. Having studied Design in Paris, followed by Photography, he has a multitude of incredible talents at his disposal. His photographs have had enormous commercial success and his personal projects aren’t far behind. He creates images that are steeped in surrealism and realism alike – bending the world on an angle and framing it perfectly with his lens. While most of his work is done in post-production, his personal work is far more expressive and spontaneous than his commercial successes as he refuses to compromise with anyone else’s vision when focusing on his own. I’m a huge fan of his twisted sense of humor above all else.

Visit his website to see more of his amazing work.

From his series entitled “Tas” (“Piles”):

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