Swirling Strips of Layered Paper Sculptures Explore Life’s Ephemerality

Paper Sculptures by Lyndi Sales

Strips of paper are transformed into flowering forms through the art of Lyndi Sales. The Cape Town-based artist harnesses these flat materials, paints them, and arranges them in mesmerizing collages that spiral and fan out across the wall—mimicking microscopic life, animal textures, and even distant nebulae.

Sales has crafted sculptural installations for over 20 years, usually exploring the theme of death in her work. Initially, this was centered around her father's death in the Helderberg airplane crash of 1987, but over time, it has translated into a broader exploration of life's ephemerality.

“I look to nature for inspiration. The overlapping scales on a snake's skin or the way birds' feathers lay upon each other,” Sales tells My Modern Met. “For color and pattern, I often take my inspiration from visuals I see while in an altered space. Either through meditation, kundalini yoga, breathwork exercises, and plant medicine ceremonies.”

When gazing at these large-scale pieces, the eye is immediately drawn to the numerous patterns that the interlocking pieces create. Enhanced by multiple different shades, these strips of paper stretch out like rays of light or blossom into spirals. There are many ways to interpret the designs that they make, which is part of the reason they are so captivating to look at time and again.

Scroll down to see more images of Sales' paper sculptures, and be sure to follow the artist's Instagram to keep up to date with her latest projects and upcoming exhibitions.

Cape Town-based artist Lyndi Sales creates mesmerizing wall art.

Paper Sculptures by Lyndi Sales

She layers strips of painted paper together into swirling forms.

Paper Sculptures by Lyndi Sales

These paper collages mimic animal textures, microscopic life, and even distant nebulae.

Paper Sculptures by Lyndi Sales

Paper Sculptures by Lyndi Sales

They are a broader exploration of life's ephemerality.

Paper Sculptures by Lyndi Sales

Paper Sculptures by Lyndi Sales

Lyndi Sales: Website | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Lyndi Sales.

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Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and illustrator based in Southern California. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College, and an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University in the UK. She wrote and illustrated an instructional art book about how to draw cartoons titled 'Cartooning Made Easy: Circle, Triangle, Square' that was published by Walter Foster in 2022.
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