Artist Lisa Nilsson and the technique of paper quilling
North Adams artist Lisa Nilsson first encountered the technique of paper quilling in the form of a crucifix in an antique shop. The art of rolling bits of paper into intricate designs has been around for centuries, originally used to decorate religious book covers. Nilsson had been making box-assemblage sculptures and wanted something new, and an encounter with a photo of a torso from an old French anatomy book sent her on a new path. She became fascinated with marrying the shapes and textures of quilling with anatomical cross-sections, pursuing an aesthetic that walked a line between projecting visual beauty and capturing the anatomy in a scientifically faithful way. “Visage” strips away the face to reveal the brain, the center of creativity, as well as other points crucial to the sensual experience of life—the mouth, the ears, the eyes.