Former Tattoo artist, Chris Conn Askew creates amazing narrative imagery that feels very much of a different time and place.
With technical proficiency and a serious handle on capturing the mood of the moment, you would never suspect that he has had no formal art training. From what I know of the tattoo industry though, is that working your way up through the ranks is harder and more intensive training than you would ever receive in any cushy institution . HIS SITE is still under construction, but there are plenty of images to chew on in his myspace gallery.
mm.northwoods has an amazing Flickr set of albino Whitetail Deer that roam around their land. It's amazing how, with no pigment to let us immediately know what kind of deer they are, they appear to be some exotic, alien species....some rare and icy breed of snowy northern ungulate. Check out the other sets too, for lovely and interesting snaps of nature.
"The swan, which is life size, is a clockwork driven device that includes a music box. The swan sits in a "stream" that is made of glass rods and is surrounded by silver leaves. Small silver fish can be seen "swimming" in the stream. When the clockwork is wound the music box plays and the glass rods rotate giving the illusion of flowing water. The swan turns its head from side to side and also preens itself. After a few moments the swan notices the swimming fish and bends down to catch and eat one. The swans head then returns to the upright position and the performance, which has lasted about 40 seconds, is over. To help preserve the mechanism the swan is only operated twice a day."
Here, you can see a video of the Swan's performance, and even better, the enraptured wonder of the viewers in the background. Such art, technology, craftsmanship, and flawless motion are spectacular, especially considering it runs on clockwork and was created over 200 years ago!
As we were pulling into the parking lot after our lunch break today, Chris and I spotted a lone Canada gosling toddling across the pavement. I slowed the car down, and he hunkered down to the ground; we looked around, but the family was nowhere in sight.
Knowing that the goose family would all be together, and that wherever they were, they had to have gotten there on foot, with babies in tow, we decided to go looking for them.
Chris hopped out of the car, cornered the terrified, shaking baby, and scooped him up, and I found a cardboard box in the trunk of my car, tossed my sweater into it, and we deposited him inside. The three of us set off slowly around the large multi-part parking lot, straining our eyes to find two large geese and some little fuzzy ones. Fifteen minutes after picking up the gosling, still no sign of a goose family. We didn't know what to do - should we just let him go where we found him, and hope his cries would attract his parents' attention? Should we try and find a wildlife rehabilitation center?
I was driving down the exit, and needed to turn around to go back to the building, so I pulled into a dirt lane that opens into a fenced-off expanse of land where the company is developing a greenspace, very far away, through some dense overgrowth, and an iron fence from where we found the baby. 100 feet in front of us stood two adult geese, and about six goslings the same size as the one anxiously squeaking in the box on Chris's lap.
We opened the door, Chris took the gosling and cautiously approached the geese. The moment the adults heard the baby's cries they started honking and bobbing their heads, and as soon as he was let go, the baby ran into the group and all were united once more.
We came into work about a half-hour late, but very happy knowing that, at least for now, our little gosling friend was safe, and that both of us had been able to be that close to this helpless wild creature, and give him the help he needed to be on his way to adulthood. It's a great feeling.
I'll admit, this isn't our usual aesthetic/range of interest here on Darkened Forest, but it's not often you strike gold like this. So, it was imperative that we spread the word. Fred and Sharon make "movies". Movies of such an awkward caliber that it's elevated itself to an art form. These people are serious about what they do, head on over the their YOUTUBE CHANNEL and you'll see what I mean. The Technologies of Peace series is amazingly unsettling, as is their sense of "humour".