French artist Lauren Collin has always had an innate ‘passion for the infinitely small’. As a youngster, the inquisitive creative came across the medical scalpels belonging to her stomatology surgeon father and set to work using them to carve tiny markings into single sheets of paper, resulting in beautifully intricate, almost scientifically precise 3D paper sculptures. ‘Bas reliefs on paper’, she calls them nowadays.
‘When I was young, I was equally attracted to scientific matters and drawing — which I turned to every chance I had,’ she told Billionaire. ‘I used to look at nature through the microscope, inspect and observe every detail. In parallel, I drew. Today, my work appears to be the missing link between the two disciplines.’
Though chiefly inspired by photos or images of nature and plants, Collin’s work is also affected by the different papers on which she works, the size of the scalpels she uses, and the light in the rooms in which her exquisitely crafted works are displayed. It is the light, after all, that provides both the movement and depth in her calming, all-white reliefs, which resemble ruffled feathers, rough tree bark, patterned reptilian scales, blossom petals and other natural surfaces.
‘At first, it almost seems as if each petal has been glued into the surface. Yet, it is the first layer of the paper that, incised, stands out from the rest. If one were to glue everything back together, one would have one simple sheet of paper. The multiple cut-outs give an idea of profusion and seem to quiver when exposed to light.’