Inspired by the endless possibilities of paper art, French artist Aline Maire creates intricate paper-cut light boxes—which she calls Abracadaboxes—that bring mythical stories to life. Each compact, 3D composition is made from layers of hand-cut paper silhouettes, meticulously arranged inside wooden box frames. Softly lit using LED lights, the enchanting scenes glow and cast rich shadows, taking on an extra magical quality.
Maire first began working with paper when she was searching for new ways to create art other than drawing. She came across the paper-cut light boxes of Hari & Deepti and was instantly struck by their beauty. “They really are, according to me, today’s masters of this paper cutting technique,” Maire tells My Modern Met. “It took me a long time to show my own creations because I have a lot of respect for these incredible artists and their wonderful universe.”
When coming up with the themes for her magical scenes, Maire takes inspiration from nature, films, and her personal feelings. She begins by basing the design around a particular motif or idea, but never plans out the entire piece. Instead, she allows her instinctive creativity and imagination to flow as she cuts and assembles each light box. “It’s like a call, like a whisper in my ears,” she explains. “Making a Abracadabox is a way for me to give power to my inner child and contact the child that is within you!”
From mythical dragons to forest creatures, Maire’s incredible paper creations look like something from a fairytale. In one piece, whales glide through stormy seas and in another, turtles and seahorses swim through a sunken ancient city. Maire admits, “I’m totally bewitched by whales and the seabed!”