Matthew Shlian turns paper into stunning geometric art
Combining a talent for sculpture with a knack for engineering, artist Matthew Shlian takes simple paper sheets and creates amazing geometric sculptures.
Based on the principles of origami, kirigami is the art of cutting, folding, and gluing paper. In his works, Matthew uses complex folding techniques to create waves of intricately proportioned shapes. They appear to arise from a flat, wall-mounted surface in a visually stunning array of patterns and colours.
Having started out in ceramics, Matthew soon realized that there was so much more art to explore. He studied, glass, painting, performance and sound, but loved the immediacy of paper as a medium. He also loved the geometry, figuring out the pieces and solving it like a puzzle.
“My process is extremely varied from piece to piece,” he says. “Often I start without a clear goal in mind, working within a series of limitations. Along the way, something usually goes wrong and a mistake becomes more interesting than the original idea and I work with that instead.”
According to Matthew, paper has special properties that enhance experimentation. Paper can collapse, expand, and return to its starting point as if it has memory. Sometimes he designs on the computer, using 3D modelling programs, however he always folds, glues and assembles by hand.
“If you can hold something in your hand, you can understand it.”