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Jewelry Boxes Encase Curtis Talwst Santiago’s Elaborately Constructed Narratives of Nostalgia and Identity

April 28, 2022

Grace Ebert

Within the confines of a tiny jewelry box, Canadian-Trinidadian artist Curtis Talwst Santiago (previously) nestles miniature scenes imbued with in-depth narratives of home and intimacy, diasporic identity, and memory. The elaborately built dioramas are part of Santiago's ongoing Infinity Series, which he began in 2008 and has since expanded to include dozens of pieces replete with lush foliage, architectural features, and minuscule…

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Art Craft

Papier-Mâché Creatures Inhabit a Whimsical World in Penny Thomson’s Kinetic Sculptures

October 28, 2022

Kate Mothes

A host of wild creatures inhabit the whimsical world of artist Penny Thomson (previously), who creates intricate, kinetic sculptures that fit in the palm of your hand. Joined in her Derbyshire studio by her daughter Briony, she works primarily with papier-mâché, which she began experimenting with when her children were still young. "Using pulp, laminated and household waste paper, and cardboard, I made a seven-foot giraffe and conducted a workshop in my son’s school, which involved all the pupils in making a 14-foot Diplodocus," she says. Since then, Thomson's creations have scaled down quite a bit, but her interest in…

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Art

Vegetation and Hybrid Figures Entwine in Winnie Truong’s Mythical Collaged Drawings

June 10, 2022

Grace Ebert

Canadian artist Winnie Truong recontextualizes the sleek, piecey qualities of human hair in her cut-paper collages. Constructed in layers within rectangular frames, the surreal works utilize the soft texture to depict flowers, vegetation, and strange anthropomorphic figures with elongated fingers and faces obscured by body parts or surroundings. Each piece is rooted in Truong's drawing practice, and the colored pencil renderings add depth to the mythical compositions. An extension of her two-dimensional…

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Art

Cleverly Collaged Portraits Layer Vintage Ads and Magazine Spreads into Dramatic Daydreams

November 18, 2021

Grace Ebert

With a flair for spectacle and clandestine activities, the perfectly coiffed characters of Shane Wheatcroft’s collages face a deluge of intrigue and drama. The Kent-based artist snips vintage ads and editorial spreads that become the musings of professionally photographed subjects: a woman replays an excruciating party scene, a businessman envisions a wholesome family gathering, and quite a few protagonists imagine scenarios they likely keep covert. Having worked with the medium for the last five years, Wheatcroft boasts a body of work that…

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Miniature Sculptor Mohamad Hafez Explores How Multiple Identities Inform His Art and Why He Invests in Education

September 14, 2020

Grace Ebert

Colossal contributor Laura Staugaitis spoke with artist Mohamad Hafez in August 2020 via Zoom. This conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity. Laura: What are you currently working on? Mohamad: As of this past summer, I decided to put more emphasis and more time into my art. I’m also trying to branch out on my own and do some entrepreneurial work. I'm actually, believe it or not, starting a passion project I've always wanted to do. I just finished a coffee shop/chocolatier/patissier. It's not your typical coffee shop. When you walk into it, you think it looks like a…

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Photography

Snails Occupy Miniature Sets Built by Aleia Murawski and Sam Copeland

August 15, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Creative duo Aleia Murawski and Sam Copeland build elaborate miniature sets occupied by small, slimy actors. The environments are laced with suburban nostalgia, which feature perfectly manicured lawns, plastic-coated furniture, and messy teen bedrooms littered with snack wrappers and tiny video game consoles. The pair's collaborative worlds are used for still images and short films. Murawski's favorite part of shooting with snails is seeing how they interact with their sets, while also learning how to specifically direct the slow moving creatures, she explains on her Instagram. One way she and Copeland inspire certain movements while filming is by positioning cucumbers…

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