Arts & Crafts Magazine

Paper Poetry - Carved Paper Works by Domitilla Biondi

By Ann Martin @allthingspaper
There is an elegant subtlety to the cut paper sculpture of Milan artist Domitilla Biondi that I find remarkably appealing. I asked her to tell us about her path as a self-described paper carver...
Quasimodo Remixed by Domitilla Biondi 2 Quasimodo Remixed - detail
While on vacation in the summer of 2013, I visited the Tate Modern in London where I was awed by a solo exhibition of Ellen Gallagher's cut paper fish and seaweed... quite different from my work, but this thing of white on white hit me like a thunderbolt. Not wanting to copy, I started with birds and fell in love with carving feathers.
Paradise Bird by Domitilla Biondi
Paradise Bird - first carving
These early works were quite large, but without a dedicated home studio space, Domitilla switched to the smaller dimensions of her current pieces, about 4 x 16.5 inches (10 x 42 cm).
Quasimodo Remixed - by Domitilla Biondi 5 Quasimodo Remixed - detail
Before the year ended, she had begun a Remixed Poets Series in an abstract style and shared one of these early carvings on Tumblr. When friends saw her designs, they urged her to continue creating and to exhibit her work. She has since gone on to complete Quasimodo (an Italian language series) and Rumi (in English). Each portion of the poet series has eighteen pieces; she is currently considering a third set.
Rumi - by Domitilla Biondi Rumi Remixed
Domitilla says her use of a cutting blade is inspired by her physician father and all white is a nod to her mother's candor. Her grandmothers' love of poetry often inspires the addition of a haiku.
Rumi - detail - by Domitilla Biondi Rumi Remixed - detail
Another year passed and Domitilla was ready to leave a successful graphic design career to focus on carving, as well as the study of sound therapy. She began a new series at that time, Quasimodo Remixed I.
Quasimodo Remixed - by Domitilla Biondi 4 Quasimodo Remixed I
Domitilla does not work from a sketch or pattern... I simply carve in real time with a blade only, white on white. I let the silence invade me and then it happens that visual poetry emerges. Depending on the light and slant of the paper, ivory shadows create emotional effects.
Quasimodo Remixed - by Domitilla Biondi  Quasimodo Remixed - detail

She recently designed her website and has dedicated the summer to learning how best to photograph and frame her work, and to set up a studio. In autumn she will once again create larger pieces - 20 x 27.5 inches (50 x 70 cm). 
Rumi Remixed by Domitilla Biondi Rumi Remixed
Have a look at this short video to see Domitilla's carving process and an overview of designs.

She writes about her work on her website and blog, Paper-Poetry.

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