Playful Dioramas Offer a Peek Into the Colorful Personalities Under the Sea

Diorama Art by Céline Chevrel

Artist Céline Chevrel encases entire worlds beneath glass. Her ocean-inspired diorama art features layered cut paper creatures nestled among colorful environments that are rich in detail. Calling them “curious boxes,” her small sculptures feature layers of cut paper that offer a 3D peek into the lives of whales, jellyfish, piranhas, and much more.

Chevrel uses her skills as a children’s book illustrator to tell stories inside of her dioramas. Most notably, this is seen in the creature character design. They have colorful personalities, like a jovial whale traversing the ocean floor and fish baring their teeth as they zero-in on a tasty snack. Many of her pieces are kept inside vintage tins—some with their covers still intact—making each time you open them a welcome encounter with strange (yet familiar) kinds.

Chevrel shares her dioramas and other illustrations on her blog and Instagram.

Illustrator Céline Chevrel creates colorful diorama art that encases lively underwater scenes beneath glass and in vintage tins.

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My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Céline Chevrel.

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met and Manager of My Modern Met Store. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.

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