Paper Poetry - Carved Paper Works by Domitilla Biondi

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...

ivory paper carving
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.

carved paper bird
Paradise Bird - first carving

These early works were quite large, but without a dedicated home studio, Domitilla switched to the smaller dimensions of her current pieces, about 4 x 16.5 inches (10 x 42 cm).

all-white paper carved design
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.

long and narrow paper carving
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.

floral paper carving - detail
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.

narrow, vertical, all-white paper carving on wall
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.

heavily carved white paper creates textured surface
 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).

all-white, vertical paper carving
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.


Ann Martin
Ann Martin

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