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Calvin Nicholls Continues to Craft Paper Sculptures Inspired by Animal Kingdom

Since the 1980s, Calvin Nicholls has created paper sculptures that blend 2D and 3D processes, cutting and layering paper for works that escape from the canvas. The artist typically focuses his efforts on creatures from the animal kingdom, emulating the forms of nature only using one or two colors and a meticulous process. The artist says he enjoys white on white, in particular, "due to the emphasis which is placed on texture and form."

Since the 1980s, Calvin Nicholls has created paper sculptures that blend 2D and 3D processes, cutting and layering paper for works that escape from the canvas. The artist typically focuses his efforts on creatures from the animal kingdom, emulating the forms of nature only using one or two colors and a meticulous process. The artist says he enjoys white on white, in particular, “due to the emphasis which is placed on texture and form.”

The Canadian artist typically uses scalpels, glue, scissors, and of course, paper to create each of the works. The artist has experimented with multiple colors in certain pieces, but his subtle use of shadow and light remains one of the ever-present characters in his portraits. These tiny bits of paper are used to recreate scales and wispy fur alike.

Nicholls has said this about his early days in experimenting with the form: “It was a matter of time before my lifelong interest in art and wildlife combined. I had just completed a bird of prey with outstretched wings for Noranda Recycled Papers when it struck me how well suited the layering of feathers was to the art of paper sculpture.”


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