Otherworldly Origami By Cybele Young

In an attempt to redefine art, Cybele Young, a Toronto-based artist, successfully morphed everyday objects to make them look like extraterrestrial beings, adding a new dimension to paper artistry. She transforms the perception of her viewers with a dynamic and artful arrangement of these creations unfolding into fantasy. From a tiny violin case to a homuncular pair of roller-skates, this miniature world of hers, created from fine Japanese paper and intaglio prints, has become a spectacular sculptural artwork.


Her practice consists of making miniature sculptures from fine Japanese papers, some of which are decorated using etchings and other media. She creates exact miniature replicas of real life ordinary objects and their final evolutionary abstract shapes. Before the sculptures are sequestered to life under glass, she often animates their moving parts in stop motion film works, offering clues to their fictional history.

The way small and seemingly insignificant moments in our everyday lives come together to create unexpected outcomes, similarly the various arrangements of these sculptures when compiled highlight the range of communities that interact and form new relationships.


Through her leitmotifs, the artist apposes sculptures to create a sense of human dialogue or play between them.

These manifest as miniature theater-one act plays, where shifts of scale and perception occur. Despite the absence of the human form there is an implied presence, where the viewer can project themselves into another world, describes Young.

Each object, however ordinary it may seem, is shown to be gradually evolving into some unusual organic life form, through a sequence of intermediate metamorphosing steps. With an amazingly strong sense of imagination, she depicts an umbrella developing into a flabbergasting jellyfish, or an ordinary handbag growing into an unnerving coat of sharp spikes.

Unlike mainstream artists who take to canvas, paints and brushes, Cybele Young has adopted paper as her medium of expression. Drawing inspiration from fleeting day-to-day experiences, she tries to fill in the blanks of human interaction through her works.


She works with a diverse range of mediums, but always at the root is a close connection to hand and paper.

 The tactile stimulates the senses to remind us that we have hands that can make things. I see fiber art getting people excited on a very deep level.

The tangible but beautiful delicacy of the Japanese paper, along with the artist’s dexterous craftsmanship, is responsible for the ethereal winsomeness of the resulting art installation. Cybele believes, working in the confines of these pages opens for her gates to great freedom and playfulness, which is indeed her creative fuel. She idolizes Alexander Calder, and like him dares to dream of crossing the lines and barriers between art and craft.

With substantial assistance from her powers of observation and the habit of noticing intricate details, Cybele Young prospers in the prosaic. In the process, her imagination shows absolutely no boundaries. Cybele Young is one of the plethora of bright and creative minds that surround us and are continuously adding to the definition of art, blurring the line differentiating it from craft.

We’ve taken the liberty of picking some more of her most mesmerizing pieces for you, our readers. Go on, take a look!





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 IMAGE COURTESY – forumgallery, cybeleyoung

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