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Art

#birds#fish#nature#paper#Pippa Dyrlaga

In ‘Biophilia,’ Pippa Dyrlaga Carves Space to Marvel at Nature’s Ethereal Intricacies

June 20, 2023

Grace Ebert

A cut paper bluebird with wings spread and flowers nearby

“Bluebird,” hand-cut 36gsm washi paper and acrylic, 20 x 21 centimeters. All images © Pippa Dyrlaga, courtesy of Heron Arts, shared with permission

Through exquisite cut-paper motifs, Pippa Dyrlaga (previously) evinces the principles of biophilia, the theory that humans are predisposed to connect with nature and other life forms. This hypothesis grounds the Yorkshire-based artist’s first solo show in the U.S., which opens this week at Heron Arts in San Francisco.

Encompassing a range of Dyrlaga’s works from recent years, the exhibition is named after the theory and features meticulously carved compositions that meld flora and fauna. Patterned mesh backdrops surround entire ecosystems with avian and aquatic life, as in “Summer” and “River,” while smaller pieces focus on single creatures like a bluebird or swan as they take flight. Layered with acrylic paint, the works are nostalgic and full of reverence, evoking the immense, insatiable wonder of childhood and the joy of discovering the beauty of the natural world for the first time.

Biophilia runs from June 22 to July 21. Find more of Dyrlaga’s pieces on her site and Instagram.

Two spheres filled with intricate organic cuttings surrounded by a gingko-like motif in the backdrop

“A Strange and Beautiful Place,” hand-cut 36gsm washi paper and acrylic

A blue and orange bird with intricate feathers perched on a branch

“Kingfisher,” hand-cut 36gsm washi paper and acrylic, 20 x 22 centimeters

Two works, a white paper flower on a pink backdrop on the left, and on the right is a lush, layered work in blues, greens, and white that looks like moss and other botanical growths

Left: “Foxglove,” hand-cut paper, approximately 55 x 28 centimeters. Right: “Moss,” hand-cut paper and acrylic, approximately 120 x 45 centimeters

A white bird with spread wings above a tangle of thing white lines

“Swan,” hand-cut paper, 40 x 30 centimeters

A cut paper scene with a goose with intricate wings flying near the top, with a small bluebird at the center,r, and koi near the bottom. The backdrop is heavily patterned with botanicals surrounding

“Summer,” hand-cut 36gsm washi paper and acrylic, 90 x 70 centimeters

Four images, each includes a printed black and white photograph of a woman or two women at the center, surrounded by vivid trees and flora and fauna in vibrant color

Top left: “Dandelion,” printed image, hand-cut 36gsm washi paper, and acrylic. Top right: “Gaia” printed image, hand-cut 36gsm washi paper, and acrylic. Bottom left: “Memory Fruit,” printed image, hand-cut 36gsm washi paper, and acrylic. Bottom right: “Tera Mater” printed image, hand-cut 36gsm washi paper, and acrylic

Two alligators face each other with mouths open. A gold orb appears overhead with sprawling blue branches and red blossoms

“Seeds,” hand-cut 36gsm washi paper and acrylic

A square paper cut scene with herons, koi, and flowers

“River,” hand-cut 36gsm washi paper, 40 x 40 centimeters

#birds#fish#nature#paper#Pippa Dyrlaga

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