Bavarian artist Nils-Udo is known for his site-specific installations built in situ with local, natural materials—leaves, berries, hay, bamboo, flowers. His signature form is the Nest, which he has installed in locations around the world.
Australian plants are like the ultimate self-sacrificing mother: They give and give (certain trees can reach 20 feet in just a few years and flower for six weeks or more) but ask so little in return. (Fertilizer? Rain? If you insist.) Their fantastical forms, however—including sculptural, hairy, or waxy blooms in neon colors—are anything but matronly.
Antarctica's shores were once lined with palms & tree-ferns, its hills filled with beeches & conifers. That was 55 million years ago, when the continent was a lot hotter. However, this recent discovery asks scientists to consider the future: will the globe's melting ice be replaced with tropical plants? It has been a hot summer.
Xavier Dumont's resin & metal work is a lovely compromise between the controlled design of a grafted espalier and the natural contours of a twig, and it engenders appreciation for the beauty of both. The French sculptor's furniture pieces are on display in London and New York.