Obviously referencing a time when patience in creating art was a virtue and all that was needed was the artist and their medium, the intricate paper silhouettes of British artist, Pippa Dyrlaga, are both beautiful to behold as well as impressively detailed. But how exactly does she make all those minute cuts so perfectly so as to create an enchanting image with the sum of them? They unobtrusively hearken back to a time when patience in creating art was a virtue and all that was needed was the artist and their medium.
"The process of making the work is as significant to me as the finished piece," Pippa says, citing that she finds it to also be, "very calming and meditative." Having originally studied Contemporary Creative Practice at Leeds Metropolitan University from where she graduated in 2006, it was only while studying for her Masters in Art and Design (she graduated in 2011) that she began pursuing her art in earnestness. "I was trying to find my own way of working and was experimenting with a lot of different techniques, both illustrative and 3D work," she tells Yatzer. "I was looking at lots of different things like shadow, Plato’s cave allegory, and also animal archetypes. The silhouettes were a natural progression. I fell in love with it immediately and it really made sense to me as a visual style."
A couple of other factors also played a part in her coming up with her style; the simple materials she uses being one of them. "The accessibility of the materials was also a big draw for me at a time when I was struggling to make ends meet whilst studying," she says. Trial and error and never being afraid of getting it wrong have also played a hand. "My work has really developed and changed over the last few years," she tells us. "It took a while for me to really figure out the technical aspects of how a paper cut works, so there were some disasters. I have got a lot more confident in knowing what will work and what won’t now, so I work much more organically than I did to begin with."
As to the subject matters she depicts, they vary and can be anything from an enchanting beetle worthy of a storybook feature (yes, the bug), to a cat (with fur so carefully cut out that it actually looks furry), to a full-blown (and exceedingly impressive) cityscape. The artist says that her childhood spent on a canal boat in Mirfield, West Yorkshire, has always provided her with a lot of her inspiration. "Much of the nature and wildlife that surrounds the riversides of the U.K. still inspires my work," she says. As she is a printmaker as well, Pippa also makes high quality prints of her one-of-a-kind cutouts.
"I love the possibilities of a crisp, clean sheet of white paper," Pippa says, although her creative process isn't necessarily without blemish. She first draws a "simple guide" for the image's layout on the reverse side of the paper sheet, editing the image "organically" as she begins the cutting process. The final image is always "clean" with no seeming telltale signs of its creation - just the imagination of its artist, depicted in crisp slices and captivating patterns.