Japanese artist Hitomi Hosono (previously) translates the billowing leaves of an underwater plant or the clusters of Hawthorn tree flowers into intricate sculptural assemblages devoid of their natural colors. The monochromatic bowls and vases appear to sprout incredibly detailed botanicals that Hosono layers in tight wraps and dense bunches, and while stylized in presentation, each form is derived from hours of research and observation of real specimens.
Currently living in London, Hosono draws on memories of her home in Gifa Prefecture to inform much of her work, and she allows the medium itself to dictate her practice. While some of the botanical forms are inspired by specific encounters with the environment like walks through the city’s parks, others are spontaneous and spurred by a hunk of material already evocative of a leaf or petal. “When handling the porcelain clay itself, then my old memories of nature in Japan come flooding back through my hands—abstract and uncertain when it was in my mind. Kneading, brushing, patting, carving, there are many processes before the shape emerges from the porcelain clay and begins to take the form of my tactile memory,” she explains.
In a note to Colossal, Hosono says she’s been interested lately in combining small florals with larger foliage, a contrast evident in “A Tall Peony and Leaves Vase” and “A Tall Tsutsuji Tower.” She describes the process for the latter:
This flower is so much a part of my childhood memories; we had Tutsuji in our home garden, at school, along the street, nearby parks, almost everywhere in Japan. Making the delicate tip of the Tsutsuji petal is challenging. I use a very small fine brush to curl the end of each petal. This must be done slowly and gently as the ends become incredibly fragile. Then I assemble the petals by hand to make each flower and place these one-by-one.
No matter the size, every element is hand-sculpted and arranged with similar pieces into a floret or layered onto the larger vessel, which typically takes a year or more to complete.
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Cutting ornate lace patterns, spindly roots, and scaly chameleon skin with meticulous detail, Yorkshire-based artist Pippa Dyrlaga (previously) continues to turn single sheets of paper into elaborate works. Her process involves drawing a design that typically features a floral motif before slicing each component by hand with a scalpel. Once the excess paper is removed, the resulting works unveil intricate patches of wildflowers and painstakingly sliced fur and fins.
Dyrlaga’s works will be included in an exhibition in Paris next month, and she’s in the midst of a collaborative project with origami artist Ankon Mitra. To add one of her exquisitely cut pieces to your collection, check out her shop, and dive into her process on Instagram.
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Every month, Colossal shares a selection of opportunities for artists and designers, including open calls, grants, fellowships, and residencies. If you’d like to list an opportunity here, please get in touch at You Can Buy This Bundle and Save A Leather Hole Punch and A 1/2". You can also join our monthly Opportunities Newsletter.
Professorship at the ArtCenter College of Design’s Graduate Art MFAFeatured
The Graduate Art Department at the ArtCenter College of Design (Pasadena, CA) invites artists working in any medium to apply for the position of Assistant/Associate/Full Professor. Faculty hold regular meetings with our 35 MFA students, teach two cross-disciplinary seminars per year, and maintain active exhibition schedules.
Deadline: December 1, 2021.
Black Women Photographers x Nikon Inc. 2021 Grants Featured
Black Women Photographers and Nikon have teamed up to offer ten grants ranging from $3,000 to $10,000, plus an additional gear giveaway. The fund is open to Black women and non-binary photographers worldwide, and you must apply to become a BWP member before you submit your application.
Deadline: 11:59 p.m. EST on November 4, 2021.
Body Politics at ARC Gallery
Chicago’s ARC Gallery is hosting an open call for works across mediums that address bodily autonomy, from reproductive rights to domestic violence to policing hair in the classroom and workplace. The exhibition will run from January 6 to 29, 2022, and there is a $40 fee to apply.
Deadline: 11:59 p.m. CST on November 21, 2021.
Public Art at 533 Eaton
The Studios of Key West is seeking proposals for public art at its art center with galleries, classrooms, a theater, roof terrace, and bookstore. Applications are open to all mediums.
Deadline: November 21, 2021.
Win a Book Deal with Walter Foster
Walter Foster is looking for submissions for instructional art and craft books and will award one creative an opportunity to publish a beginner’s text. Applicants must live in the U.S. and can work across media, from fine art to embroidery to block printing.
Deadline: December 31, 2021.
The Other Art Fair Melbourne
The Other Art Fair is looking for artists to exhibit in person at its Melbourne event next May. Sign up for its newsletter to stay up-to-date with application deadlines for fairs in Brooklyn, Chicago, Dallas, London, Los Angeles, Sydney, and Toronto.
Deadline: February 2022.
The Hopper Prize
The Hopper Prize is accepting entries for Fall 2021 and is offering two grants of $3,500 and four grants of $1,000. Submissions will be juried by Tyler Blackwell, the associate curator of Blaffer Art Museum, and Caitlin Julia Rubin, the associate curator and the director of programs at Rose Art Museum. This is an international open call, and all visual media is eligible.
Deadline: 11:59 p.m. PST on November 16, 2021.
The Aftermath Project Grant
Open internationally, The Aftermath Project Grant awards $25,000 to a photographer interested in creating work that illuminates aftermath issues and encourages greater understanding. Four finalists will also receive a $5,000 grant.
Deadline: November 30, 2021.
Innovate Artist Grants
Each quarter, Innovate Grant offers two $550 awards to one visual artist and one photographer. Applications are open internationally.
Deadline: December 14, 2021.
Creative Capital’s Wild Futures 2023/2024
During a two-year period, Creative Capital will award 100 artists up to $50,000 each, with additional advisory services per project. 2023 is open to performing arts, technology, and literature, and 2024 is seeking visual arts and moving image/film. Attend an information session on Oct. 8 for more on the application process.
Deadline: April 1, 2022, for 2023 applicants.
Residencies & Fellowships
2022-23 A.I.R. Gallery Fellowship Program for Emerging and Underrepresented Women and Non-Binary Artists
The A.I.R. Fellowship Program was established to support underrepresented and emerging women and non-binary artists in New York City, and each year, it awards six artists year-long fellowships to develop and exhibit a project at the gallery.
Deadline: 11: 59 p.m. on November 15, 2021.
Dry Tortugas National Park Artist-in-Residence Program
Open to visual artists, writers, musicians, and performers, the Dry Tortugas National Park Artist-in-Residence Program will host recipients in September 2023. The chosen artist will spend one month in the historical lighthouse keeper’s house on the islet surrounded by a tropical landscape and the endangered Loggerhead turtle nesting grounds.
Deadline: November 15, 2021.
Wave Hill Van Lier Fellowship
This one-year fellowship is awarded to two New York City-based artists under 30 years old. Each Van Lier Fellow receives an $8,000 honorarium, studio rental reimbursement, a transportation stipend, and a solo show in the fall of 2022.
Deadline: November 23, 2021.
Bernheim’s Artist in Residence
Each year, Bernheim Forest’s Artist in Residence program awards up to four artists a $2,500 stipend and a stay at Bernheim to create site-specific work inspired by the natural environment. One residency is always awarded to a regional artist living in Kentucky or in Clark and Floyd counties of Southern Indiana, and another is devoted to environmental issues and the severity of the climate crisis.
Deadline: 11:59 PST on December 15, 2021.
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Meet Bandoola, an Asian timber elephant the British Army enlisted in WWII. Purchased as a calf, the lumbering creature was shipped to a teak plantation where he was forced to drag and push logs across the landscape to construct bridges and other structures. Bandoola’s life, while fictionalized by London-based illustrator and author William Grill in his forthcoming children’s book, is based on the true story of Elephant Bill, a soldier who worked with the animals in forestry camps during the war.
In Grill’s illustrated retelling published by Flying Eye Books, Bandoola encounters veteran James Howard Williams, and the two forge an unusual friendship when they’re tasked with leading refugees and 70 elephants from Burma to India. The tale explores themes of animal cruelty and care and conservation, using textured drawings in pastel tones as a soothing complement to the story’s otherwise harsh realities. In a conversation with It’s Nice That, Grill explains that he achieved softer lines by tilting his pencil on its side, and similar to a lithograph, he drew individually colored layers for each scene before putting them together. “My drawing style is somewhat naive and simple. I try to tread a line between observation and impressionism,” he says. “I would say my visual language is observational but has some underlying character and emotion to it. Hopefully, it comes across as warm and not cold.”
Bandoola: The Great Elephant Rescue is available for pre-order on Bookshop, where you can also find Grill’s previous books The Wolves of Currumpaw and Earth Verse with similarly colorful drawings and nature-based themes. Head to the illustrator’s Instagram for behind-the-scenes looks at his process.
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Andrew and Jane Daines started Chassie with the belief that furniture should be made locally and customers should have a connection to the people who make the goods. People used to know the butchers, tailors, cobblers, and craftspeople of their lives by name, but this connection has declined in recent years. To get what you want, you have to choose between something pre-fab, pricey, or a piece that will take forever to arrive. Jane and Andrew believe those are lousy choices.
With this in mind, they built a studio in the South Bronx, using local lumber to create desks, tables, and custom projects for their customers. Since their origin point is New York City, the first collection of desks featured original works by 15 local artists printed directly into the desktop surface. These artists responded to a simple design brief: create a desk design for your life’s work. The results were stunning and unusual.
The wild success of Chassie’s first line of furniture led to a web of relationships in the art, design, and maker communities of NYC. Desk projects turned into home office renovations, conference tables for Fortune 500 companies, and solid oak king-size beds. Suddenly people and businesses across the country knew someone by name in the furniture industry.
The Chassie traditional and standing desk lines (available at chassie.com to ship nationwide) are designed by humans for humans. For custom projects, send your office or home desk ideas to [email protected]. The team is eager to connect and hear what you hope to accomplish with your life’s work.
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In the music video for Robert Macfarlane and Johnny Flynn’s new song “Ten Degrees of Strange,” director Lynn Tomlinson (previously) captures the endless transformations of human emotion through moving clay. The Baltimore-based animator uses her singular technique, which involves painting the pliable material onto a glass backdrop and photographing each frame, to create a stunning visual companion to the indie track about “trying to outrun anxiety, seeking joy and strength in landscape and movement.”
Seamlessly shifting from wide aerial shots to underwater close-ups, the animation opens with an inscribed ancient tablet before following the antagonistic relationship between a central character and a dog. “As a medium, clay holds a lot of power—its malleability allows me to transition fluidly from scene to scene, much as the natural world shifts and evolves over time,” Tomlinson explains in Trapp Ambiance Collection No. 14 Mediterranean Fig Poured Scente. “In many ways, my clay on glass animation is naturally suited for telling stories about the passage of time, evolving perspectives, and cycles in nature.”
In addition to collaborative projects like “Ten Degrees of Strange,” Tomlinson creates a variety of personal projects focused on the human impact on the environment. You can watch those animations on Vimeo.
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Highlights below. For the full collection click here.