A paper round to astound

Justine Kuran with one of her latest quilling works.

WHEN Justine Kuran bought a quilling kit from a two dollar shop, she did not dream that she would become a master of the art form — much less, that she would be launching her first solo exhibition just five years later.

Quilling, or Paper Filigree, is the Renaissance era art of using strips of paper that are rolled, looped, curled, shaped and glued together to create small shapes that come together to make up a larger design.

Upon discovering the art, Kuran taught herself the techniques, not even using the aid of YouTube video, she told The AJN.

“I’ve always been a bit creative. I made collages for years … But I never studied art at school, and cannot draw a picture to save my life! I think I’ve found the medium that works for me — paper.”

The new exhibition, Paper Round is a complete departure from Kuran’s earlier works. While she is particularly well-known for her hamsa designs, only one such piece features in her latest body of work.

Rather, Kuran has drawn inspiration from pop-art influences, recreating iconic images from celebrated artists Ai WeiWei, Keith Harin, Banksy and Jeff Koons.

“I was also inspired by indigenous dot work to recreate pop art,” she added.

In recent times, Kuran has been commissioned to create quilling masterpieces for visiting international guests and local dignitaries, including former Prime Minister John Howard, former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Hollywood legends Jane Seymour and Goldie Hawn.

The Paper Round exhibition was officially opened on May 31 by David Southwick MP at the Glen Eira City Council Gallery before enjoying a two-week residency at the space.

“I just want each person to connect with at least one piece,” Kuran reflected.

“It’s art, and it’s in the eye of the beholder. Hopefully people will like it, and enjoy a different technique.”

The Paper Round exhibition is at the Glen Eira City Council Gallery, Caulfield until June 17.

REBECCA DAVIS