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Abstract / Modern Aquascaping.

Discussion in 'General Aquascaping and Planted Tank Discussions' started by Supercoley1, Sep 8, 2011.

  1. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    I have been talking a lot about this so I thought I may as well try and explain what I mean by my ranting :)

    I have pretty much always tried to do scapes before where they should resemble realistic underwater scenes however over the past year or so I have become more and more intrigued and interested in something much less busy. Something more simple to the eye, minimalist and not at all nature inspired.

    Maybe a combination of things but the 2 I could pick out are:

    Globali's urban scaping. Whilst I am not really into the scape or lighting of Globali's project the use of man made shapes interested me here. It is a brave move, something different and got me thinking more about man made objects.
    http://www.aquascapingworld.com/for...r-b-n-aquascaping-300l-planted-lowtech-4.html

    George Farmer's minimalist instantly became my favourite scape of all time. Maybe in a few years something else will take its place or maybe my taste/direction will alter again :) But for now I love the mimimalist look of that scape.
    http://www.aquascapingworld.com/forum/aquascaping-showcase/3734-60cm-minimalist-iwagumi.html

    So I shall throw something out to you all to discuss. Something to give critique on or suggestions etc.

    The sketch below is is a very simple idea. I have several ideas in my mind all of which I shall add to this thread. however this was the easiest to put into a picture. Some of the others whilst being minimalist and modern will be a little more complicated than this.

    Bear in mind the picture is very basic. You would have to use your imagination and I may alter in reality the dimensions slightly.

    I am moving into a very symmetrical, very simple and very artificial appearance at the moment.

    So imagine below that I have taken a piece of granite and carved/ ground it into the shape you see.

    The plant behind is of course Needle Fern. It wouldn't be a GreenNeedle scape if it didn't have Needle fern within. The other plant may immediately suggest HC but I am pretty undecided on that as yet. I am not really a fan of HC.

    So guys...Comment...discuss...ridicule. Tell me I am crazy :)
    [​IMG]

    What size tank do you think this would be or should be?

    Just to add this link is to a modernist scape JamesM created a few years ago. Similar sort of idea without the symmetry:
    http://www.aquascapingworld.com/forum/aspiring-aquascapers/1970-without-foundation.html

    Andy
     

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  2. jarne

    jarne New Member

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  3. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    I say your crazy Andy! haha

    BUT, if done right it could definitely be considered art in the home. In fact, I think people who are not familiar with aquascaping may be more inclined to ask..what is that piece of art rather than commenting on your fish tank.

    I also think lighting would be important to emphasize your intent...an even spread may make it look more like a fish tank. I like points of light for this type of thing.

    Anyways just my thoughts.

    I'm sure others at the "funny farm" will have better ideas. ;)
     
  4. ghostsword

    ghostsword Aspiring Aquascaper Staff Member

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    Not crazy at all, I believe that in aquascaping anything is acceptable.

    I am planing a scape with bricks, just plain building red bricks and moss, maybe some hairgrass in the cracks, but not much more than that. :)
     
  5. J House

    J House Moderator Staff Member

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    When I think of more man-made materials forming an attractive scape I like the look of this Inca community. The way the the natural elements work very well with the man-made ones. They kinda meld into each other which gives you the best of both worlds.

    [​IMG]

    I could see this being an inspiration with a more modern design.
     
  6. ianho

    ianho Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Interesting, but yes, crazy! lol. This style is not for me, it's to unrealistic. I like something to look like it's just dropped in as a slice of nature. But thats just me. For me that would look like James M's scape with maybe a breeze block rather than a normal brick.

    However, if you're thinking of doing this, i would think it would look better in a cube shaped tank. But then you may get the feel of those new crappy looking Fluval chi tanks.
    UK Aquatic Plant Society Forum • View topic - Hagen Trade Exhibition 2011

    I'll be keeping my eye on this one Andy!
     
  7. Jurijs mit JS

    Jurijs mit JS Admin Staff Member

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    60x30x36

    go for it Andy :proud:
     
  8. plantbrain

    plantbrain Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Oliver's soccer field with HC was nice and tacky:)
     
  9. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    He, He.

    The one above is just a simple taster really. To show what I mean and easy to draw.

    I don't think I'll actually do that. Don't particularly like it however I have drawn up 4 others that I do like. Just gotta stick them into the PC and will post them up.

    The Machu Pichu picture is pretty however is far from what I mean. I am talking very linear however simple. Symmetrical and measured.

    You may be surprised with the ones I put up next. Done 4, 2 more ideas to do. I will do all of these within the next 2 years :) Will be my objective so all other scaping will have to wait until I'm done :)

    You may also see whilst they are obviously linear they suggest natural influence. Annoyingly so in some cases :)

    Andy
     
  10. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    This will probably be the first one I attempt called 'Big O'

    [​IMG]

    Looks pretty simple but the grey part of the O will be of course the rock. The green part will be HC.

    Looks simple ;) I have to get this perfectly measured for the camera angle so that when you view it the HC part and rock part marry up.

    Also the 'wood' that the Needle in the rear is attached to has to be shaped and curved perfectly to carry on the 'inside' of the rock. So this is what I mean by symmetry and measuring. It will only be sen as it should be from one angle so not ideal as a home piece. lol

    As you can guess this will be in a small 8 litre cube.

    This scape is nothing like the others I am going to post up at some point. A progression from full on wierd like the above to a more abstract man made version of what we do.anyway.

    I'm not going to transfer the next 4 onto the PC. I have them sketched up (although small) and will just scan that and put it on as 1 pic of all 4.

    Andy
     
  11. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    OK These are in the order that I will probably do them. Each a progression if you like. A series going from completely abstract to a applying a natural influence in a modernistic way :)

    First up we have 'The Caverns'. Similar theme to the first one I originally posted above however these appear to be in mid water. They will in fact be on 'poles' that are disguised by planting. I may use spotlighting on each here:
    [​IMG]

    Next we have 'mountainscape' which comprises of a large cone, 2 medium cones in front and then 3 small cones in front of that. A single 'nest of spotlighting on this one.
    [​IMG]

    Then we have 'Eruption' This is quite simply a volcano with it's vent. 2 flat topped conical shapes. red gravel may signify the tops. Nympheae stems signify lava spitting into the air. Red plants signify the lava flow. Single spotlight again here.
    [​IMG]

    Finally we return to something closer to natural with 'The Valley'. This is quite simply 5 rocks (I may use 6 in the real version to be different and not go with the 'odd numbers' ideas.) These rocks are of reducing sizes and shaped like shark fins. They will line up away from the left and right glass to make sure it cannot be envisaged that it carries on further out. The blank space at the left and right represents a frame These 'shark fins' overlap each other as mountains intersect each other along the river valley. Plants inbetween each shark fin and a tiny river exiting the valley at the front.
    [​IMG]

    So thats my next year or 2 planned. lol Any comments on these?

    Andy
     
  12. Jurijs mit JS

    Jurijs mit JS Admin Staff Member

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    The Valley reminds me on the early scapes from Dennerle :))
     
  13. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    where are you taking us Andy? Is it somewhere we want to go? Will it be nice when we get there? Will we know where we are? :-s

    This is adventurous of you...
     
  14. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Lol. I'm gonna have to find those early scapes now. he, he.

    Not really taking people anywhere however hopefully it may make some think a little differently. Not specifically in man made things but more how they scape their NA tanks as I shall enlarge on. (Aaargh you say. I will keep it short, or at least less than a page)

    I have for a long time complained about samey samey NA scapes. i.e. twisty wood, ragged rocks etc.

    More recently I have complained about how people are missing the original idea of scaping in the Amano way. By that I mean that people these days are trying to reproduce exact replicas of their vision. I don't think Amano ever did that, nor does it now, nor ever wanted to.

    I'm not an NA fan however I can see he is an artist. What he does is take the essence of nature and like any good artist leaves room for the viewers own imagination and interpretation. So his scaping is not a replica of anything. It is a representation which then lets each viewer have a different idea from the scape. Each scape is as good as thousands of scapes because they mean different things to each viewer due to their own imaginations.

    That in my mind is a key aspect of good art. Like a book often being better than a film because the reader imagines their own picture from the words. Then the film is made and the viewer is disappointed by the film. There will never be a match for the human imagination.

    These days scapers have gotten carried away a little and they leave no room for imagination. It is quite simply a detailed replica. Nothing left for you to imagine when viewing it and then gets forgotten more quickly IMO.

    By that I mean of course that if you see a scape, your imagination adds a little it has a more intimate feel for you. Then when several of you are together it is a talking point because you all have added your own imagination and therefore can discuss lots of differences. With many modern scapes that conversation would end with everyone agreeing with each other. Without those differences from the imagination then it is all about what is in front of your eyes.

    Why am I rambling. lol

    Its strange. Just as I said above I am not a fan of NA I'm not really a fan of Amano either however over the past few weeks while I've been sketching I notice I am possibly (controversial statement coming up) closer to Amano's aim than most NA scapers.

    By that I do not mean the style of scaping. I mean the last 3 sketches represent a natural scene, not replicate it. They suggest what it is without trying to dictate what it is. So then the viewer (may only be me if this turns out bad. lol) has plenty of room left to interpret, imagine etc..

    So in answer to your questions:
    I'm not really taking anyone anywhere. Maybe just suggesting there is more to aquascaping than NA, maybe suggesting that people should step back a little and think about what they want to do. Do they want to dictate to the user what their scape is or do they want the user to be able to add via the imagination and interpretation a little intimacy to the scape.

    If some people see it and it gives some ideas then great. I am sure there are plenty out there that could do this sort of thing much better than I.

    Is it somewhere we want to go? I think we should all at least investigate and look into other areas than NA. Not necessarily contemplate changing styles or even producing a different style of scape but at least view them, think about them. This is where little crossovers between styles happen. Not because someone wants to change but little things they notice or liked start to appear in other styles.

    Will it be nice when we get there....ha, ha.. Not if I get de-motivated again. Maybe that is why I am doing this. To force motivation and keep me interested in the hobby. I do get very bored sometimes and then turn the CO2 off, stop water changes, stop adding ferts, lower lights and leave a scape to run for a year on nothing but fish feeding. lol

    Will we know where we are. Of course. As long as we stop the booze and drugs :D We will still be in the same place. Maybe with a little something else to think about but still in the same place.

    Mmmm maybe. Probably more foolish though. lol

    So there I was on other threads belittling a lot of modern Art saying it was merely any object chosen and then some poetry added to try and suggest it means something then I go and start garbling some poetic nonsense. lol

    Mmmm gonna have to get some new aquascaping tools now. Angle Grinder. Diamond tipped drill, protractor, set square and a nice ruler. lol

    Andy
     
  15. Jurijs mit JS

    Jurijs mit JS Admin Staff Member

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    here is a scan from a book from 1990
     

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  16. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Lol. They remind me of a piece of plum slate I had in my first ever (collectoritus) 'scape'. Similar shape to what I am thinking but much thinner. Good spot though. lol.

    This is the 'Mountain' I had in 2006 (my first planted aquarium.) Was picked up from a pile of plum slate blocks at work.

    [​IMG]

    I've crossed 'Eruption' off the list. too gimmicky and not really to my liking. Plus it would need my big tank which won't be available for a year (Till Current scape finishes) and I want to do the 'Valley' in it as soon as the current scape finishes,

    I'll leave something now before I go to sleep. I've drawn up the 'Mountainscape' in Paint now. lol

    [​IMG]

    Night all :)

    Andy
     
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  17. randy0319

    randy0319 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I say do it!! Why not? For me tanks are canvas, rocks-plants-fish are your pallette of colors to paint with. The trouble is that they are dynamic 'living' paints that have a mind of their own. Here are a few pics of other people's tanks that broke the mold. The one with the clouds strongly reminds me of one of S. Dali's dream paintings. I say go for it and experiment with my blessing. I even saw a tank once that used topiary trimming of certain plants to create shapes that looked like they came right out of the formal symmetrical palace/estate gardens of the 17th and 18th centuries. I think that the whole point of this hobby is to have fun and try new things. I mean now they have glow in the dark fish with glow in the dark plastic plants and black gravel and black back ground so that it looks like a psychodelic velvet poster. That is stretching boundries for some and pretty neat for others. This is an art form so get out there and do something fun/crazy/controversial!! go for it!!---R
     

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  18. plantbrain

    plantbrain Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Pottery class will give you many ideas.

    Or, wood working and shaping.
     
  19. SuperWen

    SuperWen New Member

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    @ andy:
    what about this scape? is it modern aquascaping or other style?

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Jurijs mit JS

    Jurijs mit JS Admin Staff Member

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    for me it is, no doubt :proud:
     

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