Brooklyn-based visual artist Hadieh Shafie arranges thousands of colorful rolls of paper into stunning, kaleidoscopic designs. Having developed her own version of paper quilling, her artworks blur the line between painting and relief sculpture, while incorporating her Persian roots.
Born in Tehran, Iran, the artist’s work is a visual response to the “emancipating effect that books and poetry held￼ ￼for [her].” The edges of the tight coils often feature handwritten calligraphy, honoring significant words and phrases. For example, the Persian word for love (eshgh) is a recurring word in many of the artist’s pieces. She explains, “I chose this word because it encompasses my longing and search for acceptance and understanding.”
While some works feature sharp, spiral cones that jut out from their canvas towards the viewer, other works create the illusion of depth using color and tone. The artist carefully dips each piece of paper into various hues of ink, before hand-rolling them into miniature scrolls to create a myriad of color combinations and shadows. Shafie explains, “The rolling process places razor thin edges of color closely together, creating a space for the viewer’s eye to blend adjoining colors.”