North-Carolina-based artist Anne Lemanski creates three-dimensional works by stitching together patterned paper, piece by piece, depicting animals, birds, insects, and other animalistic forms. Beginning with a skeleton form made with a copper armature, the artist stretches vintage paper, or paper printed with self-made patterns of various objects, across the metal form, before stitching the edges of the paper pieces together into a sort of geometric patchwork.
Each piece is an act of homage. Through the combination of forming and brazing copper rod and wire, pattern making, and hand stitching, I draw out the essence of the animal or object I am bringing into being. I sweet-talk the “skin” and form into holding hands and jumping into the abyss together, so we can see what comes out the other side.
The artist places great importance on the art of creation, for the way she “draws out the essence of the animal or object she is bringing into being”. Each piece requires not just time and effort, but a great understanding of pattern work and stitching, and most importantly vision and passion for creation. Albeit paper being thought of as delicate and light as a material, the artist manipulates it to become armor-like, giving each form a presence that can not be understated. Another layer of the works comes from the patterns on the paper, as Lemanski explains her idea of combining pattern, color, and form in an intriguing way. “My interest as of late has been pattern and color and the way it juxtaposes with the form when I take a three-dimensional object (like matches, toothpicks, or straws), make a new two-dimensional pattern with that object, then compose the two-dimensional pattern onto the three-dimensional form,” Lemanski says.
Below you can enjoy some of our favorite artworks from Lemanski’s Animals & Birds series (see more). Follow the artist on Instagram for more inspiration and a behind-the-scenes look.