Tag Archives: Patterns

Shogyo Mujo by Joshua Harker & Bartkresa Design


Shogyo Mujo by Joshua Harker and Bartkresa Design at Adobe Max

Last week, I discovered this amazing video clip featuring a range of creative and artistic designs that were projected onto a large, three-dimensional skull. Artist, Joshua Harker and Bartkresa Design have developed a project known as, Shogyo Mujo that creates a very creative, yet dynamic experience within a three / four-dimensional format.1 If only I was able to view the skull in person, now that would be one fantastic experience worth travelling to! I was completely fascinated with this colourful, three-dimensional skull and I decided to explore the project’s overall development, the design and the concept behind Shogyo Mujo.

In reference to the Shogyo Mujo website, this remarkable sculpture “represents the 1st of the 3rd marks of Dharma which suggests that all things are impermanent.”2 At first, the sculpture was produced for the Burning Man Festival in Nevada and the overall structure including the materials were designed to burn towards the end of the festival, as referenced by Dan Cowles article via the Adobe website.


Cowles explains that the choice of the materials as well as the unfortunate weather conditions increased the level of difficulty or complexity in regards to the overall installation. In fairness, the three-dimensional skull including the projections were very impressive despite all of the previous challenges or set backs. There is a very compelling video clip on the Adobe website that does explain the overall production of Shogyo Mujo and it is amazing to see a very large production team collaborate together in order to establish a very large-scale installation.

Cowles suggests that the sculpture was designed to burn or disintegrate for the Burning Man Festival, although I’m struggling to search for a video clip or some photographs which displays the skull burning into flames. The burning skull relates to the notion of impermanence; a clearly visibly structure is deconstructed or dismantled into something irreparable. In fact, the project has invited me to explore the idea that life is impermanent and everyone will eventually die, our bodies will decay, the skin on our bones will eventually disintegrate until there is nothing left except for our skeletal remains. I know this sounds pretty morbid right now, although the sculpture allows me to consider my impermanent existence within the world.


Cowles briefly mentions that the ‘Shogyo Mujo’ was displayed at the Adobe Max in Los Angeles with a full “360 degree projection” and the sculpture received a very positive reaction from the audience. I would highly recommend watching the video clip, the different patterns and designs are sensational, they definitely work well within a public setting.There is a drastic improvement in terms of the execution and the ‘360 degree projection’ does add a sense of depth to the overall sculpture. I do admire the team’s effort to expand or push the project in order to reach its full potential.

The video clip exposes the overall process, the difficulties the constraints, the achievements and the final result; watching the development or the process does add a level of interest to the project. It is great to see a colourful, yet vibrant skull within the public sphere, this giant structure is transformed into a subject of beauty and creativity. In reference to Cowler, there are plans to create a “50-foot skull” and it is interesting to listen to the upcoming projects or ambitions from the design team in the Adobe video clip.3


The project provides a unique perspective in regards to the image of the skull through a 12-foot, three dimensional structure along with a series of artistic, yet eclectic projections. I do prefer the concept behind the Burning Man Festival, where the skull would be burnt or destroyed through fire, although the execution at the Adobe Max was suburb! The project also provides a different perspective that challenges the viewer’s interpretation of the overall work. According to Joshua Harker’s website, “the project is an exploration into creating art in 4-dimensions: 1D point in space where the event occurs (lat & long), 2D projection patterns, 3D sculpture, 4D animated projections & the event as they occur in realtime.”4 This is the most exciting aspect of the project, the viewer is exposed to an elaborate project within a four-dimensional context; while Shogyo Mujo features a technical process, the artistic elements within the work are admirable!

Joshua Harker does create a range of sculptural works featuring the shape of the skull through the use of digital software including a 3D printer in order to produce a ‘tangible’ structure, as referenced by the artist’s website.5 If you have an interest for skulls, I would recommend visiting Harker’s online portfolio the collection of work is impressive! In a way, Shogyo Mujo does extend upon this particular concept at very large scale; in the Adobe video clip, Dylan Roscover explains that the digital form becomes a ‘tangible object’ that is introduced to an “analogue space.”6 The project successfully combines the use of technology and art in order to create a large, 3D skull that features a very distinctive approach towards the overall display or presentation of the installation.

Make sure to check out the Shogyo Mujo Facebook page for further details! Images are sourced from the Bartkresa Design Website and the Shogyo Mujo Linked in page.


1. Harker, Joshua, “Shogyo Mujo,” (Accessed 4/2/14) http://www.joshharker.com/blog/?page_id=4101
2. Shogyo Mujo Official Website, “Nothing is Permanent,” (Accessed 4/2/14) http://www.shogyomujo.org/ 
3. Cowles, Dan, “Shogyo Mujo,” Adobe (Accessed 4/2/14) http://inspire.adobe.com/2014/11/25/art_on_the_playa_shogyo_mujo.html
4. Harker, Joshua, “Shogyo Mujo”
5. Harker, Joshua, “About,” (Accesed 4/2/14) http://www.joshharker.com/blog/?page_id=2
6. Roscover, Dylan in Adobe Inspire Video Clip by Dan Cowles (Accessed 4/2/14) http://inspire.adobe.com/2014/11/25/art_on_the_playa_shogyo_mujo.html

New Ceramic Skull becomes Centre of Attention


Photographs by Charlotte Pridding 

During Christmas Sean and myself received some interesting gifts, over the past few weeks I have been particularly fascinated with this new ceramic skull that has been sitting on top of the desk in the study room for the past few weeks.

The skull features a range of patterns and designs that also provides quite an interesting effect and the colours compliment with the actual base of the skull. In fact the patterns are quite unique and the dark eye sockets do appear sinister, in fact the skull appears to be grinning.


So a couple of weeks ago, I was taking photographs of Sean’s work for a portfolio, I also decided to take some shots of the ceramic skull. The bright green grass compliments the patterns and designs on the very front of the skull. The overgrown grass also distorts the actual shape of the skull, I thought this particular effect was particularly interesting.


I’m hoping these photos will provide some new ideas in the next upcoming weeks. Thats all for now, stay tuned for future updates.

– Black Calavera

Hand Carved Animal Skulls by Don Simpson


Linear Coyote by Don Simpson, 2009 – 2013

A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine posted a link onto my Facebook page, the thumbnail featured the works of Don Simpson, an artist who creates elegant hand crafted skulls that are carved into some beautiful and exquisite designs. As soon as I discovered Simpson’s Deviant Art Page, I was impressed with the level of detail, the intricate patterns and designs are just incredible!

Simpson’s animal skulls also contain other materials, such as indian ink and bee’s wax that also add a unique, distinctive style to the artist’s work. As I was browsing through Simpson’s page, I realised that the artist has carved a range of animal skulls including buffalo’s, bulls, coyotes, deers, foxes and badgers. There was one image in particular that captured my attention, In Simpson’s “Openwork Coyote”, the bright purple fabric within the background compliments the patterns that are carved into the coyote’s skull. Simpson’s work is very symmetrical and this particular effect also highlights the artistic patterns that are carved into the centre of the skull.


Openwork Coyote by Don Simpson

The patterns within the skull are quite similar to the patterns within the background, the different shapes and designs do add a very interesting effect to the image, in fact I can’t seem to withdraw my attention to the star that is embedded into the Coyote’ skull. The level of craftsmanship is quite extraordinary, in a way the skull is carved into something rather creative and imaginative. In fact, Simpson’s unique patterns significantly distort the original meaning and interpretation of the skull in general that is normally associated with death and mortality.

The coyote skull in particular is transformed into a unique art form, these skeletal remains are associated with beauty rather than morbidity. This is why I find Simpson’s work so fascinating, the skull is used a canvas in order to portray unique, artistic and visual appealing qualities, the skull doesn’t necessarily have to be associated with death, fear and anxiety.


Sunwheel Racoon by Don Simpson

To be honest it’s quite refreshing to actually view the skull from another perspective, where death itself is transformed into a beautiful and imaginative work of art! As i continue to browse through Simpson’s eclectic portfolio, I discovered another work in particular that is rather extraordinary to say the least. In “Sunwheel Racoon”, the artist has carved some elegant symbols into the very front of the skull that significantly contrasts with the textural surface within the background. What I do find particularly interesting is the choice of colour, why purple? Well I’m not exactly sure to tell you the truth although the bright purple background successful compliments the colour of the skull, I wouldn’t really think this particular colour combination really work, some how the artist is able to use the colours in a way that is quite unique and artistic.

The background is rather bold and the diagonal lines also contrast with the decorative symbols within the skull, all the visual elements effectively correspond with one another. I must admit, Simpson’s work is rather inspiring, I even find the textual surface of the background rather creative! The decorative symbols that are carved onto the skulls also provides a unique aesthetic to Simpson’s ongoing collection! Unfortunately I was unable to find any additional information in regards to Don Simpson’s work, although if you are interested in the animal skulls, I would strongly recommend that you visit the artist’s Deviant art site.