Melbourne-based artist Kylie Stillman creates mesmerising three-dimensional works carved from layered paper and wood. Her sculptures are crafted from the discarded materials which have their own predetermined textures, forms, sizes and past lives. There’s a clear reference to nature in all Stillman’s pieces which portray shapes of birds, plants and trees.

Featured Project // Some of Kylie’s recent pieces, plus her “Women: Sculpture and Painting” at Melbourne Art Fair 2012 (Stand A59 | Utopia Art Sydney). The show runs 2 – 5 August, 2012 at the Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne.

Why Kylie Rocks // Kylie’s meticulous works display a deep respect toward handmade objects. I am also drawn to the sense of irony in Kylie’s pieces where she uses the medium of paper to create trees. Extreme love!

Below is a little Q&A with the artist.


Eucalypt, 2012 // Hand-cut book carving.

The opposite of wild – Lavender, Basil & Rosemary, 2011 // Book Carvings, 37 x 23 x 16cm; 37 x 23 x 16cm; 34 x 23 x 16cm.

+ What was your inspiration for the show?

Women: Sculpture and Painting, is a group exhibition by Utopia Art Sydney’s female artists (to be exhibited at Melbourne Art Fair, August 2012). My contribution to the exhibition is a new work titled ‘Cypress Pine’ (image below). The artwork has been produced over an eight month period, following on from my 2011 solo exhibition ‘Vessel’ and recent large scale commission ‘Yamadori’ produced for Hermes Australia.

Left // Cypress Pine, 2012 // Hand-cut fence palings.
Right // Banksias, 2010 Installation Westpac Private Bank // Hand-cut computer paper.

Inspired by a casual summer stroll when a fallen branch from a river red gum lodged in my sandal. ‘Cypress Pine’ is a monolithic sculpture made from 201 lengths of fence palings, stacked over 2 metres high. The artwork is made by individually hand-cutting each plank of wood to bare the impression of a tree laden landscape.

Rural Backyard (pardalotes, wrens, gold and green finches, honeyeater and wagtails), 2012 // Paper Carving, 76 x 52 x 3cm.

+ What do you love about the show?

The opportunity to be exhibited amongst talented female artists.

+ Did you learn anything during the production of pieces for the exhibition?

My sculptures tend to be structural challenges, in this case the challenge was finding an engineering solution that would allow a pallet load of timber planks (fence palings) to be stacked one on top of the other with no visible bracing.

Beautiful examples of book & paper carvings by Kylie Stillman.

+ Best piece of advice you’ve been given?

1. Take your time
2. Be yourself

+ If you were not an artist, what would you be?


+ Nothing inspires me like…

Long walks.

Flock, 2007 // Hand-cut book carving Installation MOCA Taipei 2012.

Little Room, 2007 // Artwork left: Flock, Artwork right: Red Maple // Installation Meat Market.

+ I am really good at…

Leaving room for dessert.

+ Most people don’t know that I…

Have a pet dove named Gonzo.

Kylie Stillman in her Melbourne studio.

[Images courtesy of the artist and Utopia Art Sydney.]

About The Author

Dana Tomić Hughes
Founder & Editor

Dana is an award-winning interior designer living in Sydney, Australia. With an unhealthy passion for design, Dana commits to an abnormal amount of daily design research. Regular travel and attendance at premier design events, enables Dana to stay at the forefront of the design world globally. While she is super serious about design, Dana never takes herself - nor design - too seriously. Together with her life and business partner, Dana is Boss Lady at Studio Yellowtrace, specialising in Design Strategy, Creative Direction and Special Projects. The studio takes a highly conceptual and holistic approach to translating brands & ideas into places & experiences.

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