Explore This Atlanta Artist’s Fantastical, Life-Like Curiosities


Blake Weeks sewing wooden beads with a needle and thread

For his imaginative sculptures, Atlanta-based talent Blake Weeks often sews his objects by hand directly onto a woven-hemp base.

Artist Blake Weeks isn’t one to adhere to aesthetic conventions. “I’m a maximalist, but it’s an organized maximalism,” he explains. An Alabama-born talent who has called Atlanta home since 2008, Weeks creates sculptures with natural materials including shells, feathers, beads, bones, coral and even dried mushrooms. “I’ve been collecting these things for years, but one day it occurred to me: What if they have a connection, and it’s not just a collection?” 

Graphite-colored sculpture with vague references to the starfish form sitting in a chair

Weeks’ sculptures make loose references to organic creatures that exist on earth—yet they are more fantastical than any existing species.

Dark wood tabletop with lime green, gold, brass and berry-colored beads

An impressive array of high-end beads, trinkets and objects fill Weeks' work tables and cabinets, allowing him to choose from an extensive variety of media when he is creating.

Dark metal cabinetry filled with gold-toned abstract sculptures, small photographs and preserved mosses

Metal display cabinets in the artist’s Atlanta studio contain sources of inspiration alongside materials for his sculptures and fully realized pieces alike.

Dark metal cabinet decorated with small printed artworks, beads, insignia and other ephemera

Weeks’ creative process is sparked by color stories and ephemera.

Dark metal cabinet taped with original sketches, beadwork and swatches of color palettes

Sources of inspiration lead to sketches of imaginative future forms.

Two rounded sculptures of luxurious materials mounted upon stands

Weeks’ sculptural forms vaguely reference objects and beings from our human realm—ranging from the sacred heart to sea creatures galore.

Weeks began exploring his creative side after feeling a lack of fulfillment in law school. He discovered an outlet in jewelry making but soon found even that too restrictive. “It was time to let go of regimented ideas,” he says. “I wanted to allow the objects to interact without an endgame. And as it turns out, they speak to each other.” Most of his pieces begin with a woven-hemp base, onto which Weeks sews his objects, painting them if so desired, before mounting the assemblages like prized specimens in display cases. “The best way to discover something true is to relinquish the literal,” he continues. “These works live somewhere between fantasy and reality. They’re an attempt to capture the physicality of an emotion.” Most appear mystical, like creatures conjured in some ancient folklore. 

At his studio in the Ansley Park home he shares with his partner, architect Bobby McAlpine, Weeks has fashioned a fittingly arcane atmosphere. “Because it’s totally underground, there are no windows, no daylight, and it really cuts me off from the world,” the artist explains. As a new piece begins, he contemplates what it might become, but he also knows not to get too attached to that idea. These sculptures develop organically and can quickly change course. Once a new creature materializes, “There’s a sense of familiarity,” Weeks says, “like recognizing an old friend.” Available locally through R Hughes, his sculptures have been getting larger (some as tall as 8 feet) and more edited in terms of their materiality. “I still allow myself to go where the work takes me, but I’m curious to see how many elements I can leave off to tell a greater truth.” 

By uncovering beauty in the cast-off or overlooked, Weeks’ art touches on themes of rebirth and second chances. “That feels hopeful to me,” he notes. Whether a monumental piece or one of tabletop scale, the artist thrives in their enigmatic presence, saying simply, “They’re all threads of a mystery.”