A stunning series of paper sculptures of nature’s most beautiful birds and butterflies.
They may look like real birds and butterflies at first glance, but closer inspection reveals they’re actually made of paper. Diana Beltrán Herrera, born in Colombia and now living in Bristol, has been sculpting wildlife from paper since 2012, and she has become a master of her craft.
A real-size bird, a butterfly, a flower, and many more are created by her with amazing detail and texture.
Some of Herrera’s sculptures, however, are replicas of species she has never seen up close but is fascinated by.
“Paper as a medium for documentation allows me to register and create notions and ideas of subjects that I have not experienced in real life but that I can experience when a sculpture is completed,” says Herrera.
“I like this approach because it is not harmful, and through my work, I can show and tell my viewers about the things I have been learning, of the importance of nature just by researching and making it myself.”
Paper Sculptures Design Process
Herrera’s process revolves around research. She spends hours gathering images and information about her subject before ever picking up a pair of scissors.
The design process for each bird requires about a week, and they are all made to scale.
When Herrera plans her measurements, she spends a lot of time selecting paper to match the exact colours of her subject. Besides being beautiful, her sculptures should also be educational.
As the inner structure of the sculptures is created from strips of paper, each piece is sculpted over days by the paper artist.
She then adds colour to the birds’ plumage one feather at a time, layer by layer. Their finish makes the sculptures seem as if they could fly out at any time.
In order to document where her paper birds are from, Hernandez frames many of them in giant postage stamp frames.
“I am travelling the world, falling in love with each landscape and capturing birds in its real ecosystem.”
Colombian artist pays tribute to the jacana bird on one stamp. The stamp she created features an Oriental hornbill native to Singapore. Later in the year, Herrera will exhibit these stamps in Singapore Philatelic Museum as part of his first solo exhibition.
Below, you can see her incredible paper sculptures. You can find more of her work on Instagram.
Diana Beltrán Herrera creates lifelike paper sculptures that are inspired by nature.