It was March 2008 when we first posted top typographer Craig Ward on these here shores and we’ve followed his skyrocketing career ever since. So when the man himself got in touch to let us know is first ever music video was about to drop we were as excited as a bag of frogs being smuggled out of France. But it was more than not being eaten (I fear I’ve killed this metaphor) it was the sheer ruddy wonder of seeing someone whose work we so admire taking on a completely new context.
And my goodness were we not disappointed. The completely bewitching video for Ryan Teague’s single Cascades features microscopic ice sculptures – a fraction of a millimetre across – filmed by tiny cameras in a specially constructed chamber and it’s not only a study in texture and movement, it’s also a glorious collision of human manipulation and organic growth.
Craig told us he sees it as “adding another string to his bow” building on the graphic vernacular he has developed over the years.
“When I first heard Cascades isolated from the rest of the album (Field Drawings), winter was very much in the air and the sharp, twinkling notes called to mind at once falling snow, but also a memory from my childhood of a broken jewellery box that belonged to my grandma. The partnerless ballerina in the centre of the box would rotate tremulously to a sparse and lonely clockwork soundtrack that echoed through the over-wound springs in the base.
“The video we created to accompany the track was shot over four days in a humidity controlled basement in Pennsylvania, USA and took almost three months of planning and research. The owner of said basement was Linden Gledhill, a biochemist cum macro photography enthusiast. I had been put in touch with him by kinetic still-life photographer, Jason Tozer – a previous co-conspirator (You Blow Me Away) whom I had asked to be DOP for the project.
“I’ve wanted to try working with motion for a long time now as I think a lot of my typographic work lends itself to the world of moving image. And really, I’m just taking the same ideas – that of letting the process inform the final product – and applying it to a different medium. Also, I couldn’t resist creating a little custom type treatment for the end frames, had to get some type in there somewhere!”
And with some heavy-duty scientific research involved the sheer ambition of the final results is pretty mind-blowing.
“The dancing, contorting trees you see at the beginning of the video are ice structures – most no more than a fraction of a millimetre across – which were grown on the tip of an electrically charged, motorised needle. The individual fronds follow the paths of electromagnetic field lines generated by the charge of 2000 Volts coursing into the needle.
“When the trees became heavy enough for gravity to take its toll, they would begin to grow downward, bending and twisting as they went, to eventually meet with fronds of frost that had grown upwards from a chilled metal base along the very same field lines.
“The phenomenon of ice crystal growth accelerated by the application of electromagnetic fields has been observed before in academia but never in such detail and never before in motion making this video of as much interest to researchers and physicists as any fans of Ryan’s music or film-making in general.”
- Things glorious things! The best of the postman's offerings we received this September
- Founder of It’s Nice That Will Hudson announces the launch of new venture Lecture in Progress on Kickstarter
- Dan Emmerson shoots #bikelife in the Welsh valleys
- Dive into Adam Higton's collages via his psychedelic new album and video
- Bill Baird's ephemeral online album is completely unique for every listener
- Ewen Spencer on new commission, Kick over the statues
- “Nymphomaniac” photographer Casper Sejersen's explosive images
- Trump protest pins by Sagmeister & Walsh, Hort, Olimpia Zagnoli and more
- Google and INT Works commission 19 illustrators to create over 500 works for Allo app launch
- Kalen Hollomon's collages mix sex with fortune cookies
- Logo Pizza is selling 50 ready-made logos that increase in price with each one sold
- Anja Wicki's sarcastically sweet comic illustrations