Artist Lisa Nilsson creates beautiful anatomical cross sections of the human body using rolled pieces of Japanese mulberry paper, a technique known as quilling or paper filigree. Quilling was first practiced by Renaissance nuns and monks who made artistic use of the gilded edges of worn out bibles, and later by 18th century ladies who made artistic use of lots of free time.
“I find quilling exquisitely satisfying for rendering the densely squished and lovely internal landscape of the human body in cross section”, says Nilsson. “I employ a device of making all of the bones in my work from the gilded edges of old books. I do this for aesthetic reasons as well as a means of pulling the pieces away from the world of scientific specimens and a bit more in the direction of religious reliquaries.”
Lisa Nilsson is a Rhode Island School of Design graduate who lives in the northeastern U.S. Lisa's Tissue Series was exhibited last summer at a Massachusetts gallery, and featured quilled human anatomy cross sections displayed in silk covered, wooden boxes she made by hand.
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