Tiffanie Turner makes paper flowers. Big Ol’ Paper flowers. Of course, that’s a description that’s both accurate and a gross oversimplification. Turner’s are works that take the concept of the nature study and twist and examine and exaggerate the findings until, viewing the results, the audience feels as though they’ve been party to a divinely private bit of performance (it comes as no shock that Turner’s muse led her also to the world of burlesque, another bit of amplified voyeurism).
Looking through Turner’s portfolio I’m reminded of another master of the nature study, Albrecht Durer, and his achingly detailed works in pastel. Where Durer seems to turn inward, though, carefully recreating the gloss of a wing or the turn of a feather in small scale, Turner’s work projects outward: ebullient creations that make the minute large, allowing us to note how that fringe of petals recalls a broom, or how this petal twists up, and that down.
There is also a heavy whiff of another Renaissance tradition: that of the memento mori (art drawn from a Latin philosophy which encouraged reflection on death and the brevity of mortality; in practice this often translated to: skulls, skulls, skulls) with the papery fragility of Turner’s flowers echoing the fleeting bloom of their organic counterparts. More than anything, tough, Tiffany Turners works are beautiful, whimsical, and approachable, art that invites further inspection and reflection (there’s a bit of a feel of a grown up, hands-on science museum that’s particularly enchanting) and that’s a damn fine thing.
More of Tiffanie’s breathtaking works and peeks into her process can be viewed on her Instagram @tiffanieturner, and her website http://www.papelsf.com. She will be finishing up a residency at San Francisco’s prestigious de Young Museum on May 29 https://deyoung.famsf.org/programs/artist-studio/may-artist-residence-tiffanie-turner