In 1987, artists Ann Wood and Dean Lucker formed Woodlucker, a collaborative studio that creatively “combines a love for illustrated paper art and forgotten histories into engaging objects full of sentiment and longing.” While this nostalgic mindset to art is evident in the artists’ individual oeuvres and joint projects, it is particularly apparent in Wood’s collection of paper flora and fauna.
Reminiscent of antique illustrations and age-old cabinets of curiosities, Wood’s natural specimens are both naturalistic and fanciful. Each piece is crafted and colored by hand, exhibiting the artist’s illustrative interests. Additionally, this handmade aesthetic conveys Wood’s traditional approach to the paper craft, which she employs as a means to evoke the spirit—not the exact anatomy—of nature. “I work from the real, not to duplicate but interpret nature’s splendor,” she explains on the Woodlucker website. “I try to capture the variety and essence of the real but with the outcome being a heighten[ed] reality where the viewers stops to take a second glance.”
On top of offering an artistic look at nature, Wood’s “theatrical tableaus” explore the ephemerality of earth’s plants and animals. She notes that she is artistically attracted to natural motifs due to their universality and, more specifically, their fleeting beauty. This interest in impermanence is further emphasized by the delicate medium she employs, as the presence of paper inevitably echoes the fragility of her subject matter. It is this temporality that, according to Wood, captures our attention and prompts us to “look at a flower, pick up a feather, touch a leaf or comment to a companion about a particular specimen.”