"Funeral homes are purposely dour, all subdued blacks, hushed grays, and buffed dark cherry wood. It would seem that design flourishes have no part to play in this (non)aesthetic. In Japan, in fact, it's taboo to break this monochromatic code. But a new advertisment for Nishinihon Tenrei funeral parlor goes against the grain.
Produced by ad agency I&S BBDO, the life–sized poster depicts a human skeleton recreated in colorful flower petals set on an arresting white background. Kneecaps are made from sunflowers, links of green leaves trace out rib cages, and arched rows of pink roses form the silhouette of the crown of a skull.
The poster, which recently took home a One Show Design Merit Award, was the brainchild of Mari Nishimura, creative director at I&S BBDO. The idea for the image came from his own experience with death, he tells Co. Design. Nishimura was left with 'profound feelings' of his late father's funeral, which, incidentally enough, was held at the Nishinihon Tenrei funeral parlor."
(Sammy Medina, 29 May 2013, Co.Design)
"We have long been familiar with the power of the Chinese to balance colours, but we were not so well acquainted with their power of treating purely ornamental or conventional forms ; and in the chapter in the Grammar of Ornament on Chinese Ornament I was led, from my then knowledge, to express the opinion that the Chinese had not the power of dealing with conventional ornamental form : but it now appears that there has been a period in which a School of Art existed in China of a very important kind. We are led to think that this art must in some way have had a foreign origin; it so nearly resembles in all its principles the art of the Mohammedan races, that we may presume it was derived from them. It would be no difficult task to take a work of ornament of this class, and, by simply varying the colouring and correcting the drawing, convert it into an Indian or Persian composition. There is of course, in all these works, something essentially Chinese in the mode of rendering the idea, but the original idea is evidently Mohammedan. The Moors of the present day decorate their pottery under the same instinct, and follow the same laws as the Chinese obeyed in their beautiful enamelled vases. The Moorish artist takes a rudely–fashioned pot or other object, and by a marvellous instinct divides the surface of the object, 'by spots of colour, into triangles of proportionate area, according to the form and size of the object; these triangles are then crossed by others."
(Owen Jones, 1867)
Owen Jones (1867). "Examples of Chinese Ornament Selected from Objects in the South Kensington Museum and Other Collections: By Owen Jones. One Hundred Plates", S. & T. Gilbert, 4 Copthall Buildings, E.C. Back of the Bank of England.
"my favourite beach – West Whittering in East Sussex England. I wanted to shoot in intimate close up using short depth of field DSLR HD. I live in Nottingham – about as far away from the sea as you can get in the UK .This is a type of beach memory film – for all us city dwellers who need to remember the coast line and nature. A type of antidote to our urban life where we forget about nature. The water is out there and its always moving and we should be in it."
(Jonathan Hamilton, 2012)
Fig.1 "Never Quiet Never Still", uploaded by Jonathan Hamilton.
"Ward's 'What Dreams May Come,' starring Robin Williams was nominated for production design in addition to winning an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. The film, tells an epic love story of soul mates separated by death. The story would inspire Ward to envision the afterlife as a painted world, incorporating state–of–the–art, adapted, and entirely new visual effects technologies in an original, fully articulated, filmic view of imagined realms that may await us after death."
"L.A. Botanical is, specifically, a series of ambrotypes, an early form of photography, invented in 1850, the same year that the City of Los Angeles was incorporated as a municipality. At the time, the population comprised a mere 1,610 hardy souls. The population explosion of the following 150 years into the Los Angeles we know today resembles (from an imaginary aerial vantage point) an algal bloom, or bacterial inflorescence[ii]–the visible record of a natural imbalance
Ambrotypes are negative images on glass plates which, when shown against a black backdrop, appear to be positive. The name comes from the Greek ambrotos, 'immortal', a rather poetic way of evoking the power of photography to fix forever the fragile moment. Plants, particularly flowers, have long been the favorite metaphor of poets, painters, and now photographers for the passage of time–they are our most consistent reminder of mortality, and yet our most frequent solace at times of bereavement.
Though the ambrotype predates early moving pictures, Campbell's use of antique photography can't help but remind viewers of its sister medium, film, and the attendant connection with Los Angeles as a national and global 'dream factory' (or, indeed, that these technologies played their part in swelling the population of the fledgling city). Campbell's humble backyard blooms become, in L.A. Botanical, stars. The silver nitrate of the photographic process is linked, chemically and etymologically, to the silver screens onto which early films were projected. Campbell's botanical 'immortals' have been bequeathed eternal 'limelight' (another chemical process which, due to its use in theatrical lighting, is forever associated with fame)."
(Tessa Laird, 2006–2007)
Fig.1 "Black Walnut, Antifungal, anti–parasitic, antiseptic, herbicide and hair dye. To treat thrush, candida, ringworm and internal parasites. Ellagic acid and Juglone are being investigated as cancer treatments."
Fig.2 "Turpentine, From Ponderosa Pine, Paint thinner, solvent, liniment, antiseptic and treatment for lice and tapeworm."