Thoughtfully Recycled Paper Art by Anna Maria Scocozza

There's no better time to feature an artist who has a sincere reverence for our planet than during Earth Week.


all-white handmade paper dress decorated with paper leafy vines; fetus in uterus visible through dress


I was alerted to the paper art of Anna Maria Scocozza when she sent a Facebook message about my newsletter. (Want to sign up too? Do it here.) That led me to her page where I discovered an impressive body of work through which she demonstrates the possibilities of bringing new life to paper and plastic that is otherwise is destined for the landfill.


handmade newspaper shoes decorated with paper flowers


"We, who live in a society of 'dismissal' without any scruples, I, instead, look for it, clean it, transfer it, 'redeem' it from its miserable condition of worthless, uselessness and debris. Raising it then as a poetic pretext, for a new artistic life!"

handmade paper purse with double handles and decorated with rolled paper flowers

Anna Maria, who lives in Rome, has had a lifelong interest in art, old books, and recycling. She studied Costume and Fashion at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome with an emphasis on painting and decoration. Her work has been exhibited throughout Italy and beyond.


handmade honeycomb paper bra with bees displayed on natural stick

From Anna Maria's website (pardon Google's clumsy translation):


"Mine is not only an aesthetic art, but also an ethical one, tries to push the viewer to question not only towards social issues that especially concern female victims of violence, injustice, marginalization, racism, but it leads it gradually to both psychological and spiritual introspection with a gaze fixed on reality in search of answers. Although maybe there's never a right answer, maybe just a right question." 


gold and white handmade paper dress hanging on wooden hanger

The Poetic Garments that Anna Maria spins and weaves utilize rejected materials as metaphors. I paraphrase her words: "visions to wear as symbols to describe reality, even the most painful ones, are with us on our difficult earthly and spiritual journey. Tears in the fabric are like scars through which light passes and prepares us for new blooms."


pair of bright grren paper and plastic women's shoes

Enjoy this fine interview in which Anna Maria describes her work and the thought process behind it. It is in Italian, but there is a translate button toward the bottom of the page. 


An excerpt: "For example, I often create skeins of thread from recycled paper, full of memories and with a past to tell, and which I use to weave the fabric of my poetic dresses. The little girl of the past, even now, loves to use the needle and thread to sew up and heal the wounds that life inflicts on her." 


natural color open dress made of paper packing material though which paper mache face is visible


"Deep down I'm a storyteller of stories that always tend to a happy ending, to a recovery." 

pair of off-white handmade high heel shoes composed of paper strips

Two Poetic Wardrobe examples are on display until November 12, 2023 at the Viviane Fontaine International Paper Triennial at Musée de Charmey in Switzerland.


smiling woman wearing hat motioning toward handmade paper dress


For those of you in Rome, Anna Maria Scocozza hosts workshops in which she enjoys opening minds to new ways of thinking and doing. Follow her on Facebook and/or Instagram to be notified of upcoming classes and exhibition dates.

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Ann Martin
Ann Martin

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