CLOSE

New BFG-Inspired Public Art Trail Honors Roald Dahl

Much of author Roald Dahl’s work is about bits of magic hidden in the real world, so it’s appropriate that, in conjunction with the silver screen release of The BFG and the 100th anniversary of Dahl's birth, a new public art trail is serving to do the same. It’s opening up across the UK this week, and turns the aspirations of famous figures into giant dream jars.

Sophie Dahl, Steven Spielberg, Stephen Hawking, The Duchess of Cornwall, Buzz Aldrin, Helen Mirren, Naomi Campbell, and other celebrities lent their dreams to support the project, which is helping to raise money for Save the Children, as well as a specialist nursing program supported by Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity. The BFG Dream Jar Trail opens on Saturday, July 9 and will remain on display until August 31.

Each giant Dream Jar (up to six feet tall) will contain a sculpture representing the ambitions of one of the 50 famous participants. Thirty-four jars will be part of the initial rollout, with others added in the coming weeks. They’ll form a trail in London and across the UK, at places like The Museum of Modern Art in Glasgow, The Hayes shopping area in Cardiff, and the Tower of London, before they are auctioned off later this month.

The Duchess of Cornwall‘s dream was rendered by art director Michael Howells. In a press release, she said, “The power of a good story is immense. It starts a voyage of discovery into different worlds that broadens and stimulates our minds. My dream is that every child learns to read and discovers the lifelong pleasure of books.”

Other dreams include swimming alongside a whale (Game of Thrones actor Maisie Williams), a romantic hot air balloon ride (One Direction’s Niall Horan), and a jar based on the thoughts of an ancient Chinese philosopher, who questioned whether our dreams are actually reality (Hawking).

Check out VisitLondon.com to view some of the art, a trail map, and learn more about the project.

Know of something you think we should cover? Email us at tips@mentalfloss.com.

Original image
Courtesy Chronicle Books
arrow
Design
Inside This Pop-Up Book Are a Planetarium, a Speaker, a Decoder Ring, and More
Original image
Courtesy Chronicle Books

Designer Kelli Anderson's new book is for more than just reading. This Book Is a Planetarium is really a collection of paper gadgets. With each thick, card stock page you turn, another surprise pops out.

"This book concisely explains—and actively demonstrates with six functional pop-up paper contraptions—the science at play in our everyday world," the book's back cover explains. It turns out, there's a whole lot you can do with a few pieces of paper and a little bit of imagination.

A book is open to reveal a spiralgraph inside.
Courtesy Chronicle Books

There's the eponymous planetarium, a paper dome that you can use with your cell phone's flashlight to project constellations onto the ceiling. There's a conical speaker, which you can use to amplify a smaller music player. There's a spiralgraph you can use to make geometric designs. There's a basic cipher you can use to encode and decode secret messages, and on its reverse side, a calendar. There's a stringed musical instrument you can play on. All are miniature, functional machines that can expand your perceptions of what a simple piece of paper can become.

The cover of This Book Is a Planetarium
Courtesy Chronicle Books
Original image
Noriyuki Saitoh
arrow
Art
Japanese Artist Crafts Intricate Insects Using Bamboo
Original image
Noriyuki Saitoh

Not everyone finds insects beautiful. Some people think of them as scary, disturbing, or downright disgusting. But when Japanese artist Noriyuki Saitoh looks at a discarded cicada shell or a feeding praying mantis, he sees inspiration for his next creation.

Saitoh’s sculptures, spotted over at Colossal, are crafted by hand from bamboo. He uses the natural material to make some incredibly lifelike pieces. In one example, three wasps perch on a piece of honeycomb. In another, two mating dragonflies create a heart shape with their abdomens.

The figures he creates aren’t meant to be exact replicas of real insects. Rather, Saitoh starts his process with a list of dimensions and allows room for creativity when fine-tuning the appearances. The sense of movement and level of detail he puts into each sculpture is what makes them look so convincing.

You can browse the artist’s work on his website or follow him on social media for more stunning samples from his portfolio.

Bamboo insect.

Bamboo insect.

Bamboo insect.

Bamboo insect.

Bamboo insect.

Bamboo insect.

[h/t Colossal]

All images courtesy of Noriyuki Saitoh.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios