Artist Kirk Fanelly began creating Botanicals, a series of inlaid paper art, when he felt he needed a break from human subject matter and narration. We’re certainly glad he did so we can share with you his contemporary and colorful cut paper art of plants, trees and flowers.
Paper Botanicals by Kirk Fanelly
We’ve featured several impressive art and objects made from paper on this blog. So it always amazes us when we come across yet another, different way to turn hand cut paper into something aesthetically pleasing. The inlaid cut paper Botanicals by Kirk Fanelly blend craft, composition and color to result in beautiful pieces of original art and screen prints.
Working with cut paper for over 7 years now, the North Carolina based artist says “I began the series by frequently visiting and photographing The Elizabeth Lawrence Home & Garden (5 minutes from my home)—where something is always in bloom, decay or dormancy. Most of this work is rooted there. A consistent location provided one less variable in growing a body of planted-based work that continues to evolve. I also finally discovered plants I can tend to and not kill.”
For his Botanical series of inlaid cut paper art, Fanelly hand tints archival paper with acrylic and/or flashe vinyl paint to expand the stock papers’ limited palette. Cutting the paper pieces with a scalpel, he works in layers, adhering the individual pieces using reversible PVA glue. An isolation coat is applied before the final protective matte UV varnish.
In addition to his originals works for sale, he also sells screen prints such as the lovely one shown below:
My work has shifted over the last several years. In earlier narrative paintings, I was interested in articulating the awkwardness and vulnerability of people in relation to our psychogeography—more specifically: architectural environments, suburban mores & myths, sexual dynamics, and a variety of disquieting implied narratives happening in private.
My more recent work concerns itself with finding meaning in materials and chance encounters with the broader natural world rather than encounters with human absurdity (which appear in overabundance these days). This current approach is one that feels increasingly expansive and calming. The process of cut paper and new creative directions have me rediscovering connectivity to nature (including animalia) and finding joy through deep observation.
About the artist (from his site):
Kirk Fanelly currently lives and works in his hometown of Charlotte, NC. He received a BA in Visual Art from Brown University and split his undergraduate time between Brown and neighboring RISD—completing courses in their painting & illustration departments. In addition to his undergraduate work, Fanelly attended a formative fellowship at Yale.
Fanelly’s work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions across the Eastern United States including: Davidson College Smith Gallery, Appalachian State Turchin Center, Winthrop University Rutledge Gallery, Artspace (Richmond, VA), and The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (Winston-Salem, NC). His most recent exhibition was a solo show at the Atlanta Botanical Garden that featured large-scale studies of plants and flowers. Fanelly’s work can be found in public and private collections internationally.
Grants awarded include: North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship Grant; Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation Fellowship; and Yale Norfolk Fellowship.
all images courtesy of the artist