Incredibly Lifelike Paper Flowers by Kate Alarcon
Plants are an important aspect of human life: they create connections with nature and showcase the fragility of life and death in an array of beautiful colours and shapes. Kate Alarcon taps into their diversity by creating lifelike flowers and plants from paper materials. The result is a collection of eye-catching designs that are both fragile and eternal.
Using European crepe paper in a variety of different weights, Alarcon pieces together layers and colours to create rippled petals, lifelike stems, and other intricate details that make her works so realistic.
She draws inspiration from her past. “I come from a really crafty and artistic family,” she says. “I’ve just always loved the process of dreaming up crazy projects and trying to make them real.”
For a considerable amount of her career, Alarcon created her paper flowers alongside other artistic pursuits, including knitting, embroidery, and sculpture. “I really liked the idea of developing a set of skills so that, if I had an idea for a project, I could make it happen.”
It is clear to see that there is a heavy influence from other artistic mediums in her work, from the detail that almost looks sewn on, to the 3-dimensional attributes that are inspired by the rules of sculpture.
It wasn’t until Alarcon created a bright flower garland for her unborn daughter’s nursery that she fell in love with plants as a subject and paper as a medium. From there, she focused her time and energy on creating bouquets of colourful paper flowers and detailed succulents.
When it comes to actually creating the works, Kate Alarcon looks at it as a problem-solving task. “What I love about paper flowers is that each one is a set of interesting little problems to solve,” she says, going on to add that the very first step is to really examine the flower and determine what those problems are. When she does this, Alarcon gets a deeper feel for how the flower is constructed, from the stem right to the ends of every petal. “Figuring that out was like solving a mystery,” Alarcon says of the structure of a nasturtium she was commissioned to create.
Sometimes, Kate Alarcon will trace the outlines of fresh petals to gain a better understanding of their form and texture. “But more often I kind of ‘sketch’ them out with my scissors,” she says. “For some reason, it’s easier for me to draft by cutting than by drawing.”
And when it comes to creating her pretty succulents, she bends the edges of each petal to give it a thicker feel. To finish, she’ll add paint, bleach, pastel or dye to add detail, creating a detailed, lifelike version – or solution – of the flower that inspired her.
Alarcon manages to showcase the excruciating beauty and detail that each flower harnesses, using its unique elements to bring it to life. But unlike the flowers that inspire her, Alarcon’s paper reconstructions last forever, freezing a moment in time and creating life-long connections between human and nature.
Listen to the track “Cleansed In Fire” by Acronym while viewing the additional works below.
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