Thomas Allen brings literary characters to life in a charming diorama series of paper “dolls” cut from book illustrations. The tiny people he frees from the pages of vintage books display the innocent fashion of the 1940s and ’50s. He repositions the figures in new, surprising environments: A group of schoolboys plays a game atop a solar system map, a milkman delivers bottles against a galactic backdrop, and a little girl skips rope in front of a black-and-white book page, evidently overjoyed to be unbound from the pages.
Allen drew inspiration for his project from his childhood love of View-Masters and pop-up books. He enjoys projects that visually juxtapose characters and settings. “Allen gently cuts around the shape of his figures, physically releasing them from their two-dimensional surface and then places them in a new display of meaningful interactions,” his gallery webpage explains. “His characters are brought to life from their pages and covers by detailed lighting and selective focus, ultimately telling a distinct narrative with their newly defined settings.”