Toilet Paper Roll Art

Art can be made of anything, even toilet paper rolls.

Artists will often use every day otherwise innocuous items to express their vision. But in the case of sculpturess Anastassia Elias, her most recent installations, published in June and titled Rouleaux, uses discarded cardboard toilet paper rolls in the most creative and fascinatingly unexpected ways.

The book – which contains 157 photographs and 28 sketches on 42 pages – presents 67 roll sculptures made by Anastassia Elias between 2009 and 2012, according to This Is Colossal.

In her miniature but intricate cardboard cutouts, Elias portrays a various array of themes ranging from horse racing, lithe dancing ballerinas, a tango pair, and a menagerie of animals, along with curious models of beaker-filled laboratories, miners chipping away with their pickaxes, and Charlie Chaplin on the set of The Kid.

She even has a Parisian theme with the iconic Eiffel Tower etched into foreground – all tiny back-lit paper dioramas crammed within the narrow space of cardboard toilet paper tubes.

A single-eye view of the mini dioramas creates a convincing perception of depth inside an otherwise incredibly finite amount of space.

The word diorama originated in the early 1800s as a type of picture-viewing device. The word literally means “through that which is seen,” a concept first invented by Daguerre and Charles Marie Bouton as part of an exhibit in London in September 1823.

Daguerre’s dioramas consisted of a piece of material painted on both sides. When illuminated from the front, the scenes would be shown in one state. After switching the point of illumination, another phase or aspect would be revealed. For example, scenes in daylight changed to moonlight, a train travelling on a track would crash, or an earthquake would be shown in before and after pictures.

Elias’s own unique cardboard canvas interpretations, many of which can be seen here on her blog, display a painstaking eye for detail and patience along with seemingly adroit scalpel skills.

What do you think of Elias’ toilet paper roll art?

[Image via Artist Anastassia Elias]