Thursday, January 13, 2011

White Cloud Worlds

New Zealand is sometimes called the “The Land of the Long White Cloud.” It’s a country famed for its epic landscapes, which appeared in the Lord of the Rings films.

The country is also admired worldwide as the home to some of the finest emerging and established science fiction and fantasy artists, such as Greg Broadmore (“Lonelybot,” 2006, above), Thomas Simpson, Jeremy Bennett, Ben Wootten, Nick Keller, and Jamie Beswarick.

The work of 27 New Zealand artists has been brought together in a new book and exhibition called “White Cloud Worlds.”

“Cellar God,” above, is a delightfully creepy resin sculpture by David Meng. He says it represents the new direction his work is heading in, avoiding obvious human/animal hybrids, and instead exploring organic forms that are more unexpected. The specific forms are hard to associate with any particular living creature. “The thing it rides on is crab-like,” he says, “yet again, not entirely. It is an alchemical creation, part animal, part furniture, part vehicle.”

Above: Marshwalkers by Thomas Simpson.

Many of the works were done late at night by the artists after working a full day at WETA Workshop. Paul Tobin, who helped organize the project, described those late night hours with affection: “It’s that quiet time, when most artists actually get some serious work done as the distractions drop off and the next cup of coffee kicks in. For some of us, this is the time we scrimp and save for ourselves to labour over our own projects.”

Some of the paintings in the 128 page book are done as self-assignments, and others are done for game companies or movie studios. The book has a foreword by Guillermo Del Toro and an introduction by WETA’s Richard Taylor, with afterwords by Alan Lee and John Howe.

The exhibition at Dowse Art Museum will run until March 13.
White Cloud Worlds website
Exhibit at Dowse Art Museum
Get the book at Amazon (US)
Weta Workshop
Making of "Marshwalkers" by Thomas Simpson 
David Meng's Post on Cellar God
Greg Broadmore's website
Thanks, Paul Tobin


David Glenn said...

The crab thing looks like something you see in a horror movie. The robot seemed pretty cool though.

Larry MacDougall said...

Thanks for the heads-up James. This looks like a great book.

Anonymous said...

Oh no! Amazon says the book is sold out!

jeff jordan said...

I got it! Blame it on my amazon Enabler, Jim Gurney!I couldn't pass it up! THANKS Jim!

Unknown said...

Thanks so much for sharing this! I dont usually pick up art books (even though I just bought your two instructional books haha). But really like the sound of this book just to see all that great art printed nicely infront of me :D

Christian Schlierkamp said...

So great to see all that creative talent behind the scenes! I just watched their website. Definetely a book worth going for! Thanks for posting!

James Gurney said...

Rimwalker, Paul Tobin tells me: "The book will hopefully be available on Amazon US shortly (its not sold out as stated on the site), but can be purchased through the Weta Shop online."

illworx said...

Wow, I haven't been keeping up with browsing your blog and missed so much! The feature works are incredible- I especially want to check out more of David Meng's work. Thanks for sharing.