In her most recent series, La pietra e la piuma, Italian artist Elisa Mearelli presents a collection of three-dimensional paper art that beautifully plays with light and space. Composed of layered, delicately cut paper, each paper box puts a sculptural spin on conventional cut paper art.
The creations that comprise La pietra e la piuma range from abstract, experimental designs to more figurative scenes of nature. Using multiple sheets of paper, the artist is able to fabricate a sense of perspective by creating compositions that appear to recede into the distance and “sink into a dream.” Additionally, many of her pieces are monochromatic (the artist especially favors a plain, white aesthetic) or subtly embellished with pops of blended color. Such a minimal palette allows external light sources to enhance each piece. “My latest works can interact with the light around them,” Mearelli tells us in an email. “The shadow and the light areas inside them will change during the day as it changes the sunlight that seeps inside.”
Unlike many artists who use paper merely as a canvas, Mearelli believes that “the paper is not just a support to cover with color, but rather the true protagonist of the work of art.” In addition to her focus on paper as subject matter, Mearelli believes that the permanence of practice is what sets it apart from others. “My studies focalize on the necessity of leaving an indelible mark on the paper by means of strong invasive action such as making holes and cuts in it,” Mearelli explains. “None of my works can be erased or covered over with color. The paper has been cut, there is no going back; it has its own form, it tells its own story, like the human skin.”