Russian artist Nikolay Polissky is known for producing large-scale interactive sculptures that feature organic shapes and materials. His latest work, which is named Beaubourg after one of the oldest areas of Paris, was inspired by the architecture of Paris' Centre Georges Pompidou museum. The 22-meter-high sculpture looks like a cluster of horns or pipes, and it's made from birch sticks and twigs that have been fastened to a metal frame using traditional weaving methods. The towering sculpture is currently on display at the Nikola-Lenivets sculpture park located in an artist community near Moscow.
In the land art tradition, Nikolay Polissky‘s massive Beaubourg sculpture is made from natural materials, and it provides a commentary on the intersection of nature and human culture. Using traditional weaving techniques — an almost lost art – Polissky wove birch branches through a metal frame as if he were weaving a basket. The sculpture is also interactive; it features a spiral staircase in the center, which leads to an observation deck at the top of the 72-foot-tall sculpture.
For his part, Polissky has avoided ascribing too much symbolism or meaning to the massive structure. “Think up a story yourself,” he told The Calvert Journal, when asked about the story behind the sculpture. “The most important thing is the myth. Reality alone means nothing.”
The sculpture is partly inspired by the Pompidou Center for modern art in Paris, designed by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, which has a complex series of water and ventilation tubes fastened to the exterior of the building. And like the Pompidou museum, the area surrounding the Beaubourg sculpture will host a variety of cultural activities, including music, street theater and other types of performance art.
from: The Ak-Chin Community Ecomuseum at Arizona State University.
During the beginning of 20th century, decrease in water of the Gila and Salt rivers resulted in fewer plants for the materials for Pima baskets. Therefore, Pima basketry and production declined dramatically.
As a matter of fact, Tohono O’odham baskets were once very similar to Pima basketry, but they now differ from one another as they are now made for sale. Today, O’odham basketry is highly renowned as people from all around the world search to purchase these beautiful durable coil baskets from the Ak-Chin Indian Community.
Coiled weaving is the most commonly used method by traditional Ak-Chin O’odham basket weavers. Ak-Chin keeps a permanent baskets exhibit at the Ak-Chin Him-Dak EcoMuseum & Archives, displaying baskets, history of basket weaving and all the materials that make up the baskets.
Flower Basket with Circular Fan Construction, approx. 1997 By Hayakawa Shokosai V (b. 1932) Kansai region: active in Kyoto. Was named Living National Treasure in 2003 Bamboo (madake) and rattan Selected techniques: armor plaiting (yoroi ami), diamond twill base H. 8 in x Diam. 13 in Lloyd Cotsen Japanese Bamboo Basket Collection, 2006.3.809; catalogue no. 11 Photograph by Kaz Tsuruta.
from: Asian Art Museum, San Francisco
In comparison with Japan’s other decorative and applied arts, such as ceramics or textiles, bamboo basketry is a relatively small-scale art form that requires decades to learn; most members of the younger generation of recognized bamboo artists are in their forties and fifties, following years of training and development. Another unique aspect of this form of Japanese decorative art is that almost every step of production is accomplished by a single person: Bamboo work requires a sensitive and individualistic approach to the material, which does not lend itself to division of labor within a local industry and cannot rely on the forces of nature. As artist Fujinuma Noboru (b. 1945) says, “Unlike the ceramist, for whom the fires of the kiln play an important role in the outcome, the bamboo artist bears full responsibility for every step of the creative process. Without splitting the bamboo and working through each of the various steps oneself, one cannot get the ‘feel’ of each individual bamboo culm and thus know for what kind of piece it will be best suited. And there are no shortcuts in bamboo—there is no way to mechanize the process” (personal communication with the curator, October 2005). Because of these qualities, it is very difficult to achieve technical mastery of the bamboo medium without spending the initial years of one’s training under the guidance of someone already skilled at working with bamboo as an artistic material.
For this reason, at some time in their careers most major bamboo artists have been formally or informally associated with one of a handful of artistic lineages that have served as the centers of artistic bamboo training for generation after generation. Most of these lineages are based in three regions: Western Japan; Eastern Japan; and Kyushu. While artists must learn a full corpus of techniques, regional characteristics or aesthetic tendencies emblematic of certain lineages appear in the output of the artists in those lineages.
Galaxy, 2001 By Honda Syoryu (b. 1951) Kyushu: born in Kagoshima Prefecture, active in Beppu, Oita Prefecture Bamboo (madake) and rattan Selected techniques: openwork twining H. 11 1/2 in x W. 25 in x D. 24 in. Lloyd Cotsen Japanese Bamboo Basket Collection, 2006.3.584 (B-1368); catalogue no. 15 Photograph by Kaz Tsuruta.
This lidded basket is an outstanding example of an important form of expression from South Africa's rural Kwazulu-Natal region. Grasses and grasslike plants are readily available natural resources in the Kwazulu-Natal region that the Zulu have incorporated into many domestic artifacts, including floor mats, spoon holders, and various kinds of baskets such as this example from the Museum's collection. The origins of the weaving tradition remain unknown, but European accounts describe the use of grass and related plants by the Zulu as early as the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.