Paperwork

Tackling a massive pile of paperwork means something a little different to Lisa Nilsson.

Six years in the making, the elaborate ‘Grand Jardin’ by Lisa Nilsson pushes the boundaries of paperColossal
Taking several years to complete, she paid painstaking attention to the complexities and details of the design, balancing intricate organic shapes with precise geometric patterns, all while preserving the composition’s overall symmetry. “The phases of my creative process—as it progressed from the initial spark of inspiration to settling in to work, to decision-making and problem solving, to finding flow, losing flow and finding it again, to commitment and renewal of commitment—were repeated many times over the six years and within the context of widely varying moods,” she tells Colossal.

Such intricate details.

There are many more wonderful photos of this and other designs (tapestries?) from this series on her website.

Tapis seriesLisa Nilsson
This series of works is a continuation of my exploration of the possibilities of the medium of quilling, a centuries-old craft in which narrow strips of paper are rolled into coils and shaped. In moving beyond my initial inspiration in anatomical subject matter, I have opened up the color palette, textures and shapes that are available to me. I am finding renewed inspiration in the decorative arts, predominantly in Persian rugs, Renaissance book bindings, and Byzantine enamels.

And here’s a link to a wonderful essay she wrote about her practice and how she reacts when people say she must have a lot of patience.

I would wish this on anyoneDirty Laundry
My work requires a certain kind of attention, as well as a good deal of focus, faith, tenacity, and boatloads of time – but not what I’d call patience. Patience to me implies tedium. There’s an embarrassment of things in life that I experience as tedious, but making my work ain’t on the list.

To my viewers I offer this analogy: It’s like building a puzzle. Once you get rolling you don’t want to quit. The challenge is not in sticking with it, but in walking away when you ought to, your eyes and back are sore, and you know you really should get up to pee or eat or stretch or get back to the rest of your life. But watching this barnyard scene come together is now the most important thing ever. Finishing it will complete you.

Author: Terry Madeley

Works with student data and enjoys reading about art, data, education and technology.

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