Posted in Sparks in the wild

Birds of a feather

Pigeons often get a hard time – whether you mock them as ‘rats with wings’, or snigger as they rummage through school rubbish bins to try and salvage some dinner, they’re not exactly the most admired in the bird world. Except for racing pigeons – those guys are just amazing and I don’t think I’ll ever understand how they ‘work’. Anyways, a recent pigeon post on designboom caught my eye and I thought I’d share it here.

In a nutshell, German artists Julian Charriere and Julius von Bismarck (how’s that for a great name?) came up with a project they called “Some pigeons are more equal than others” during this year’s Biennale in Venice. In a daring PR campaign to make the pigeons ‘less offensive’ and more attractive to visitors, they took some of the birds from the Venetian piazzas into specially created booths and spray-painted them in different colours. Birds of spray, if you will. (Sorry.)

It’s an interesting idea and it definitely changes the whole look of the birdies. But, like ladies dressed up and fake tanned for a day at the races, the bright packaging will fade and true colours will be revealed before too long. And pigeons will be pigeons. Here are some of the photos – see what you think.

You can check out the designboom post here, with lots more photos of the multi-coloured pigeons.

Posted in Arty sparks

LEGO art

I could happily post about LEGO (that’s not me shouting, that’s the proper way to write it – I checked) a few times per week. There are some very clever creative types building amazing things out of little coloured bricks. More than just kids’ stuff, this is genuine art – and not being a real fashionista, it’s my kinda colour blocking. Today, I wanted to share some of the work of Thomas Poulsom. Tom is a LEGO artist/builder based in the UK and he has an amazing collection of his work on Flickr, including a whole range of rare, colourful birdies. ‘Twas Norman, the Northern Cardinal who first caught my eye in the designboom feature post on Poulsom’s work, but I’ve included some other highlights here. Just remember, these are all made FROM BLOCKS. (Ok, that was me shouting that time.)

Stormy the Snow Owl
(c) Thomas Poulsom
Kingsley the Kingfisher
(c) Thomas Poulsom (via designboom.com)
Tiago the Toucan
(c) Thomas Poulsom (via designboom.com)
The Woodpecker
(c) Thomas Poulsom (via designboom.com)

There’s just a taste of Tom Poulsom’s work – you can check out more of his stuff on Flickr here and the designboom feature is here. Poulsom’s birds are also posted on the LEGO CUUSOO site – it’s a pretty cool place, where you can share your LEGO project or product idea and if you more than 10,000 people support it online it will be reviewed by those little men in bowl hats at LEGO HQ and might become an official LEGO product (earning you 1% of total net sales as royalties). How’s that for inspiration to get building, peeps?

Posted in Arty sparks

David Mach is amazing.

I was going to make a pun out of his name, but I wasn’t sure if you pronounce it like ‘Mark’ or like ‘Match’, so thought that it could get lost in translation and become confusing. So I’ll just stick to the fact – David Mach is amazing. He’s a Scottish artist and I first saw his work on designboom. Incredible sculptures made from everyday items (things like matchsticks, coathangers, playing cards and dominoes). David says, “When I have ideas I want to make them, and not just some of them, but all of them”. David loves to work with as many different materials as possible and calls himself “a materials junkie”. Ok, enough about what David says, have a look what David does.

Charlie Chaplin, Matchead.
(c) David Mach

 

Stag, made of wire coat hangers.
(c) David Mach

 

“Layed Back” – Snoopy, made of playing cards.
(c) David Mach

And that barely even scratches the surface – it’s well worth checking out David’s website and Facebook page for more of his incredibly creative and quirky works of art. There are some brilliant public art installations, mindblowing Matcheads, pretty scary coat hanger gorillas and an image of the Queen made from greeting cards. I’ll finish as I began – DAVID MACH IS AMAZING! You can check out his website here and his Facebook page here and the designboom post here.

Posted in Arty sparks, WWWhat?

Word up

I always love to hear new words or expressions and, although I don’t catch on too quickly to the YOLO, OMG, ROFLMAO kinda acronyms used by the kids of today, it’s interesting to hear another language and try to appreciate what it all means. Even more so when it is actually a real language, with culture and history attached. And although the English language seems to have quite a lot of words to choose from, sometimes you’ll hear a word or expression from another land and think: bingo! That really captures it perfectly – I wish we had a word like that. 

In honour of some of those types of words, artist Fuchsia Macaree put together an alphabet of expressive words that are missing from the English language. Here are some examples…

By Fuchsia Macaree
By Fuchsia Macaree
By Fuchsia Macaree
By Fuchsia Macaree

You can check out the rest of this clever collection at the Fast Company magazine Co. Create site here. While you’re enhancing your vocabulary, just remember that you can’t use these words in Scrabble, no matter how tempted you may be…

Posted in Home sparks, WWWhat?

Using big words

I love word games. Yes, I’m a dork like that. And of course Scrabble is the daddy (or mummy, in the case of my family) of all word games. It gives you the chance to trot out all of those strange words you’ve read over the years and not really understood, while you try and block your opponent from getting their tiles anywhere near a triple word opportunity. And now there’s Words with Friends, which is sort of like Scrabble with a much higher tolerance for fake words, and you can play on your iphone as you sit on the bus or wait for the Doctor or pretend to work.

But whether you’re playing on the board or on the screen, there comes a time when you’re just staring vacantly, with no clue about what to do with the tiles in your rack. You need a different perspective – a fresh view of your options. Though I don’t think you’d have that same problem with this particular version of Scrabble that I found for sale at Hammacher Schlemmer.

For only $12,000 you could own this giant Scrabble set that’s sure to both impress and frighten your friends. According to the website, it’s the world’s largest wall-mounted Scrabble game – one of only nine that was handmade by artist John Kahn. It even comes with giant racks for your tiles. The product blurb says that it’s “nearly 5x the size of the original” – now, I’m not sure if that man in the photo is a pixie, but it seems a lot bigger than 5x the original to me!   

Anyways, you can read more about this interactive work of art at the Hammacher Schlemmer website here. Although if you’re like me – closer to the floor than the ceiling – then you might need to consider a step-ladder to make sure that those triple word scores are still within reach. Cos I reckon it’d be so much sweeter to beat your opponent with a giant triple word than a normal triple word. Game on.