The paper sculptures of the Ibbini Studio are as intricate as a spider’s web and as beautiful as a coral reef. Which makes perfect sense as the artists behind the mesmerizing sculptures set out to create something that looks like it had been made in nature.
Complex and often colorful patterns weave and spiral to create intricate spheres, floral patterns, and decorative designs that at times look as though they could be part of an ancient Middle Eastern temple.
The beautiful, and somewhat trippy, art is the result of Artist Julia Ibbini and computer scientist Stephane Noyer, who together make up Abu Dhabi-based Ibbini Studio. According to Colossal, the pair have been collaborating since 2017, and over the course of the pandemic focused on creating a series of sculptures that mimic shells. What makes the pieces so unique is how they’re made by both hand and machine, using digital algorithms.
“My practice focuses a great deal on exploring the boundaries of what is possible with the materials and techniques used,” Ibbini told Colossal. “In 2021, there was a significant jump in the complexity and technology we were working with, and I think the pieces produced over this period very much reflect that.”
As Ibbini told Fast Company, each piece starts with “with a single arabesque piece that she designs in Adobe Illustrator, which is then repeated a set number of times around an arc, using computer algorithms and custom software tools Noyer designed. They twist the pieces around as they go to decide on the final profile.”
Once the final profile of the digital designs is created, they’re then laser cut into the paper before Ibbini assembles and paints them by hand. As you can imagine, hundreds of hours can go into a single piece. While the machine is able to cut with laser-like precision (literally) the human hand, of course, is prone to mistakes. It’s precisely this in Ibbini’s eyes that makes the pieces so special.
“The flaws which come with the human hand contribute to the beautiful end result.”
The amazing art has been featured in numerous galleries and you can keep up with the studio’s current pieces by following them on Instagram.
Photos via Ibbini Studio