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Sheets of White Paper Layered into Dense Cityscapes and Forests by Ayumi Shibata

February 19, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Museum Mile Book.” All images © Ayumi Shibata, shared with permission

Japan-based artist Ayumi Shibata (previously) constructs intricate paper cities and natural landscapes that both fit in the palm of her hand and are expansive enough to pass through on foot. Using dozens of layers of paper for a single project, Shibata carves miniature houses, clouds, and tree-filled forests that eventually are illuminated in glass vessels, stored safely in a book, or erected in large-scale installations.

The artist tells Colossal that she doesn’t use pencil outlines, in part because the white paper isn’t durable enough to be erased if there’s an error. Instead, she envisions the three-dimensional shapes she wants to create and begins cutting. “White paper expresses the yang, light, (and) the process to cut expresses the yin, shadow. When the sun shines upon an object, a shadow is born,” she writes. “Front and back, yin and yang, two side(s) of the same coin.”

Shibata also relies on the Japanese word “kami”—which translates to paper but also to god, divinity, and spirit—as she considers the relationship between humans and nature that turns up in her work. “The world of paper that unfolds within the glass expresses the micro world, which is our human world, the Earth, the universe, and other universes and dimensions. The life-sized forest installation expresses the macro world, which is outside of our universe and the unknown worlds.” Each time someone walks into a room with one of her more expansive pieces, she thinks it’s possible “we could meet, communicate and coexist with Kami, which exists but we can’t see.”

To check out more of Shibata’s structural projects, head to her Instagram.

“Museum Mile Book”

“In the Jar Corridors of Time”

“Forest of Kami”

“Forest of Kami”

“In the Jar Bush”

‘Volcano Book”

Right: “In the Jar Drop of Bush”

“Voyager Book”

 

 



Craft

Papier-Mâché Masks Crafted by Liz Sexton Bring Animals to Human Scale

February 11, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Liz Sexton, shared with permission

Rejecting anthropocentrism, Liz Sexton wants to break down the boundary between human and animal life. The Minneapolis-based artist creates large papier-mâché pieces of foxes, owls, and other wild animals designed to be worn by humans, creating a hybrid being that she often situates in non-natural environments, like a rat near the subway lines or a porcupine fish out of water.

Sexton began making her facial masks a few years ago after constructing a couple of Halloween costumes, although she’s worked with the versatile paper material for many years. Made of brown paper, paste, and paper pulp, each piece takes a couple of weeks, if not months, to create. The artist tells Colossal that her “hope is that the viewer gains not only awareness of the animal but a sense of kinship and empathy.”

I often work on species facing existential threats, such as marine life, though I suppose this uncertainty applies to most animals at this point. Photographing the animal heads worn out of their natural habitats, and in our immediate world, highlights the displacement that many creatures experience. I also enjoy working on animals that likely live very close to us but we don’t necessary see. Bringing them out into our human habitats, on a human scale, they become neighbors, commuters, a visible part of our community.

When not being worn, Sexton’s masks rest flat on the floor, appearing as a bust and adding to the reverential quality she hopes to inspire. For more of the artist’s animalistic projects—and to see the miniature rhinos, bears, and zebras she recently created for The New York Times Style Magazine⁠—head to Instagram.

 

 



Craft

Miniature Seascapes and Cities Top Elaborate Paper Wigs by Asya Kozina and Dmitriy Kozin

February 10, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Asya Kozina and Dmitry Kozin, shared with permission

Saint Petersburg-based paper artists Asya Kozina and Dmitriy Kozin situate miniature worlds atop their towering paper wigs. The detailed headdresses combine contemporary themes with historical elements, resembling the extravagant hair and head pieces of the Baroque period. A recent series crafted for Dolce & Gabanna features a whale and lobster with fins and claws woven through and sticking out from the tops of the elaborate pieces. Both have ships, as well, to add a human element. “We did this work and had (the) idea to do works with various marine monsters,” Kozina says. “In the old times, sailors believed in gigantic sea monsters… All characters are taken from folk myths.”

Since Kozina last spoke with Colossal, the scale and complexity of their monochromatic creations have changed, in addition to their public perception. “Our works fell into collections of museums, became symbols of some events related to the history and history of art and fashion,” she writes. “Our work is perceived not as photo props, but as artworks, sculptures, exhibition objects.” Head to Instagram or Behance to check out more of the artists’ sky-high creations.

 

 



Craft Illustration

Paper Quilling Process Shown Step-by-Step in New Video by Yulia Brodskaya

February 6, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Jaguar.” All images © Yulia Brodskaya

Known for her technique of “painting with paper,” Yulia Brodskaya (previously) has crafted a new piece titled “Jaguar,” a portrait blending human and cat features. In a recent video posted to her Facebook, the U.K.-based artist shares her creative process, starting with a sketched figure on a black board. Brodskaya then fills in small patches with neutral-toned paper, clipping them in place until she attaches the next piece. The artist even utilizes a tweezers to position some of the singular layers and shows her quilling technique up close as she bends strips of paper before wrapping the edge around the folds. For more of Brodskaya’s paper paintings, head to Instagram.

 

 



Craft

Intricate Landscapes and Animals Cut From Single Sheet of Paper by Pippa Dyrlaga

February 3, 2020

Grace Ebert

“This Fragile World,” (2019), hand cut paper and acrylic paint, about 11 x 11 inches. All images © Pippa Dyrlaga

For Pippa Dyrlaga, one piece of paper holds a lot of possibility. The Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire-based artist cuts each one of her delicate creations from a single sheet. Her intricate designs turn a blank page into a plant-filled landscape or a robot tending to a garden. Dyrlaga begins by sketching each piece in reverse, before cutting sections out. Then she flips it over to unveil the finished work or to paint details onto the piece.

Whereas her previous work often utilized a single white sheet, the artist now is working more with color, painting shades of blues, golds, and black, which helps to distinguish one group of plants or mosses from the next in her lush landscapes. She also has been inspired by Greek mythology and lore, describing “Psychopomp” (shown below) as “a spirit or deity, often depicted in animal form, which guide people into the afterlife,” on her site. “The piece is split into two, night and day, life and death. The daytime is represents life and growth, organic patterns and plants. The second half with nocturnal animals and abstract patterns, representing the more abstract idea of what comes ‘after.'”

Head to Dyrlaga’s Instagram for more of her intricate creations, and see which are available for purchase in her shop.

“Torn #3” (2019), torn and hand cut paper, painted with acrylic, about 20 x 10 centimeters

Left: “Arber” (2020), hand painted and cut Japanese 36 gsm washi paper. Right: “Garden Spirit” (2019), hand painted and cut Japanese 36 gsm washi paper

(2018), hand drawn and hand cut Awagami Kozo Natural Select paper 46 gsm, about 23 x 25 centimeters

Left: “Torn #1” (2019), hand cut paper. Right: “Torn #2” (2019), hand drawn and cut paper

“Bright” (2019), hand cut from Awagami Factory 36 gsm paper and painted with acrylic paint

Left: “Psychopomp,” hand drawn and hand cut paper, 80 x 40 centimeters. Right: “Bennu,” hand cut 32 gsm gampi washi paper, with hand painted gold acrylic

‘While the World is Asleep” (2018), hand drawn and hand cut paper, about 42 x 28 centimeters

 

 



Craft Illustration Photography

Found Photographs and Book Pages Weave into Textured Collages by Hollie Chastain

January 30, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Psychopomp.” All images © Hollie Chastain, shared with permission

Paper artist and illustrator Hollie Chastain clips, layers, and stitches found photographs and scraps of paper ephemera to create her mixed-media collages. The Chattanooga, Tennessee-based artist repurposes old narratives and images⁠—in one piece, tuba players pop out of a library card pocket, and in another, two men tug on a string woven through a handwritten note⁠—providing a new story for each regenerated work.

Chastain tells Colossal she began working with the medium in 2008. “Vintage book covers became a favorite substrate,” she says. “I fell in love with the scribbles, stamps, library and school identification, water and ink marks and all the other visual history and how that added to and sometimes altered the composition of the piece. ” Today, she often cuts images from National Geographic copies printed in the 1960s and 70s, gravitating toward “strong characters and people in action.”

To share her appreciation of the versatile medium, Chastain published an instructional book detailing various techniques and methods. “What I adore about collage as a medium is the complete versatility and the allowances that it gives first time creators to play around with color and texture and composition without any ‘but I can’t draw’ and ‘I’m not an artist’ hang-ups,” she says. If you want to join Chastain and start your own textured project, order a copy of If You Can Cut, You Can Collage. Otherwise, check out her shop and follow her on Instagram.

“Band Stand”

“Harvest”

“Homework”

“Parade Day”

“Paradise Lost”

“The Delegate”

 

 



Craft

Oversized Paper Flowers Bloom in Lush Bunches by Marianne Eriksen Scott-Hansen

January 29, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Marianne Eriksen Scott-Hansen, shared with permission

Marianne Eriksen Scott-Hansen doesn’t have to worry about her flowers wilting. She constructs enormous bouquets of tissue paper blossoms featuring countless petals and leaves in color-coordinated bunches. The Copenhagen-based artist tells Colossal that she doesn’t keep track of the pieces of paper or number of hours she spends on her large-scale projects, preferring to focus on creating rather than the actual process of cutting and shaping. Each piece is crafted by hand and without patterns or templates, making every petal, stem, and bit of pollen unique.

Much of Scott-Hansen’s work reflects her childhood in the countryside, anchoring her style in nature and Danish folk art. Heavily rooted in craft, the artist says she works both artistically and intuitively. “It’s all in the hands so to speak. I want to enter into a dialogue with the material. Work my way into it. Exploring rather than ‘mere’ re-working and investigation. (Seeing) how far can you ‘stretch’ paper.” She enjoys using the same material to create various textures, contrasting durable, rough wood and delicate petals.

Thrift, hard work, and industry are required as well, in order for my artworks to grow into something other than the tissue they were. Something must be small before it can be big, humble before it can be flashy—it is the contrast of nature that carries opulence within it and triggers our imagination. In my reworking, the tissue paper roots of the triffid may also become that of the rose.

The artist graduated from The School of Design at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 1995 with a degree in fashion design. Since then, she’s collaborated with a long list of clients including Elle Denmark, Karl Lagerfeld, and Hermès, to name a few. Currently, she’s working on an installation for an international summit planned in Copenhagen in May. See more of Scott-Hansen’s blooming projects on Instagram. (via The Jealous Curator)

 

 

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