Awesome new books by Gestalten. “Naïve” (2009) by R. Klanten and H. Hellige documents the extraordinary renaissance of classic Modernism, from the 1940s to 1960s in contemporary graphic design. “Grid Index” (2009) by Carsten Nikolai is the first comprehensive visual lexicon of patterns and grid systems. Seen on Geebird & Bamby Ltd.
Pyramid, a Keepsake Box by John Wiggers
Exquisitely crafted from eight rare aromatic woods by the Canadian grandson of a wooden shoe maker, this loving homage to the Egyptians promises spiritual well-being.
The geometry of John Wiggers’ Pyramid Keepsake Box is based on a mathematical principle commonly known as the Divine Proportion, “discovered” by Leonardo Fibonacci in the thirteenth century. One of the building blocks of all life on earth – immortalized in Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Vitruvian Man”, central to the structure of the DNA molecule, and the basis for proportion and growth in plant and animal life – the Divine Proportion determined the exact specifications of Egypt’s Great Pyramids of Giza (almost 4,000 years before Fibonacci).
John has used different woods to construct his Pyramid, some with thousands of years of traditional healing history. The pinnacle has been sculpted from a single block of Amboyna (from the very first trees sustainably harvested in the Solomon Islands), capped with a special formulation of 22k gold leaf (blended with the traditional healing metals of sterling silver and pure copper). In the second level, a concave recess has been carved into a block of rare Hawthorn, a holistic wood that produces complex compounds that, dating back 5,000 years, herbalists believed could alleviate stress and strengthen the heart. The centre level contains a removable divider of Sassafras, a wood that releases particles each time the tray is exposed to air, said to promote well-being and clearer thinking. The floor of the compartment is lined with black Tuscany leather. The lower level features four removable trays, each made of a species of Black Walnut that some Native Americans believe prevents disease – simply touching this wood releases molecules that can be absorbed into the skin.
Separating the lower-level trays are four recessed dividers with colours that represent sacred directions in many indigenous traditions — Spiritual Illumination (east), represented by a yellow wood called Movingui, Introspection (west) by black Macassar Ebony, Innocence (south) by red Padauk, and Wisdom (north) by white Curly English Sycamore. Where these meet is an inset of quartz Tantric Shiva Lingam, from the Narmada Riverbed in India. It is believed that millions of years ago a meteorite collided with Earth here, creating stones with a distinct ovoid form (that represents divine masculine energy). Once a year, working with oxen and rope, villagers pull 20-30 large stones from the water and hand-polish them for months to bring out natural markings called the “yoni” (which represent divine female energy). These highly-blessed stones, handled in accordance with ancient Vedic tradition, are believed to heal the pain in the heart that obscures the harmony of the soul within.
Continuing a 90-year tradition started by his Dutch grandfather, John Wiggers has been creating heirloom quality furniture since 1967. John looks to the future of the planet in his furniture-making, employing strict environmental standards in manufacturing, using stains and finishes with few volatile organic compounds, choosing primarily woods harvested from FSC-certified and sustainable forests, recycling all shop waste, and (with Pyramid) shipping in a bed of biodegradable corn starch “peanuts” to cut down packaging waste. In 1998, John earned one of the first FSC certifications awarded by the Rainforest Alliance and has sat on the Board of Directors of the Forest Stewardship Council Canada, working with Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund, and The Sierra Club to help develop global principles for responsible forest stewardship.
This exclusive edition of ten Pyramid Keepsake Boxes is hand-built by John Wiggers and his artisans in Port Perry, Ontario (the very first box in the series was gifted by the artist to a respected elder of the Hopi tribe in Arizona). Each Pyramid is named for one of the great Egyptian pyramids and will be accompanied by a certificate of authenticity, numbered and signed by the artist, as well as a plaque from its maker.
Ron English started out twenty years ago, before anyone knew what subvertising was, targeting billboards in Texas and pasting over them with parodies of corporate excess, war, and pop culture. He now creates gallery-sized canvases too, a selection of which are being displayed in the UK for the first time this week at Elms Lester Painting Rooms in a show called Lazarus Rising.
Ah Xian is a contemporary artist born in Beijjing, China (1960). Actually, lives and works in Sydney.
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