with tiffanie turner
Dramatic Decaying Flowers in Tiffanie Turner’s Solo Show “What Befell Us” Challenge Notions of Beauty and Perfection
In her latest solo exhibition, What Befell Us, California-based artist Tiffanie Turner explores notions of aging, imperfection, and perishability. Massive flower blossoms including dahlias, garden roses, ranunculus, and strawflowers are formed from Italian crepe paper and span more than five feet across. While in her previous work Turner strove for the ideal phenotype of each flower, in What Befell Us the artist pushes past perfection to investigate our collective relationship to flaws and damage.
The artist shares with Colossal that she felt strongly pulled to focus on climate change and environmental peril in her latest show. She expresses concern that humans’ resistance to perishability with plastic and preservatives also hastens irreparable damage to the earth. And, as a woman experiencing aging in a superficial society, Turner saw personal parallels with our global obsession with freshness and perfection. She explains:
When I started to choose my specimens for this show, instead of superimposing formal imperfections onto these pieces, I sought out flowers that are beautiful even though they are not perfect. For example, the two strawflowers in the show are two sides of the same coin. One is still bright and colorful, but its center is deformed as it starts to lose moisture. The other is older, its petals slumped back from the fading, greying center. Each are “imperfect”, but both are undeniably still beautiful. Why just keep trying to create more beauty. Why can’t we just see more things as beautiful?
What Befell Us is on view at Eleanor Harwood Gallery in San Francisco through June 15, 2019. Follow along with Turner’s latest work via Instagram. And if you’re inspired to create paper flowers of your own, the artist’s in-depth instructional book is available on Bookshop.
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We’ve long admired the breathtaking botanical artwork crafted by San Francisco-based artist Tiffanie Turner (previously here and here). Combining her architectural training with a love of the natural world, Turner has pioneered a seemingly infinite number of techniques to craft incredibly lifelike flowers from everyday materials. And, after years of refining her unique art form, her debut book The Fine Art of Paper Flowers will be published on August 22nd.
In her comprehensive photo-filled 254-page book, Turner starts from the ground up, detailing materials and basic techniques, doling out dye recipes, and offering species-specific construction guides for leaves, stems, and buds. Finished projects range from delicate cosmos to peonies the size of a fully-grown person, and include options for personal accessories like everlasting boutonnieres and flower crowns that channel Frida Kahlo. Turner generously shares every aspect of her years of acquired knowledge in her friendly voice, with step-by-step instructions that read somewhere between a cookbook and a novel.
And, if you live in the Chicago area or would like to visit our fair city, we are thrilled to be hosting Tiffanie for two workshops and a book signing on September 26th. Tiffanie will be teaching how to make Cosmos or Double Bomb Peonies (or both!) in an intimate workshop setting held at Colossal’s HQ. There will also be a free book signing, where copies of Tiffanie’s book will be available for purchase. Tickets and info for the workshops can be found on Colossal.
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Tiffanie Turner (previously) individually cuts thousands of segments of paper to piece together her often 5-foot-wide flower compositions, works that can take up to 400 hours to complete by hand. Turner’s artwork aims to explore nature’s bloom and decay, and during a recent residency at the de Young Museum in San Francisco she enlisted over 4,000 visitors to collectively compose and then destroy a Ranunculus sculpture while stationed at the museum during the month of May.
Many of the works she created while in residence will head to the Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston, Massachusetts for an exhibition opening August 9th and running through September 18th, 2016. You can see more of Turner’s work on her blog and Instagram.
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Spanning nearly three feet wide, these giant fluffy flowers were crafted from paper by San Francisco-based artist and architect Tiffanie Turner. Because of the massive scale of each piece a single flower can take upward of 35-80 hours to assemble from crepe paper. She shares via her artist statement:
My work in paper stems from my background as an architect, particularly my interest in how things are made and the use of repetitive elements, along with my lifelong obsession with flowers and botanical drawings. The exploration of scale plays heavily into everything I do, and the organized chaos and rhythms in nature make the heads of flowers an excellent case study for me.
Later this week Turner opens a show titled “Heads” at Rare Device that runs through May 28, 2014. You can see more on her blog, and several pieces are available for purchase here. (via The Jealous Curator, My Modern Met)
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Editor's Picks: Craft
Highlights below. For the full collection click here.