Diana Beltran Herrera turns ordinary materials into magic. Under her hands, wire, cardboard, plastic, and paper, turn into intricate sculptures that both delight and enchant. Born in 1987 in Colombia, Herrera graduated in 2010 from the Jorge Tadeo Lozano University, with a BA in Industrial Design, and has since decided to pursue design as an experimental practice, researching different materials that are present in our everyday lives.
Her favorite material, as it turns out, is paper, from which she forms sculptures of birds, insects, fish, and plants. Currently based in Bristol, where she recently graduated with from UWE, with an MA in Fine Arts, Herrera’s work has been exhibited in solo and group shows across Europe, Asia, and the US.
“When I started to work with paper, I was developing very structural elements,” she explained in an interview with My Modern Met. “I used to have a lot of strips of paper that I used to cut and glue to form a volume.” According to Herrera, this process is very flexible, as almost any shape can be created with paper. “I spend a lot of hours collecting images of the subject in different positions,” she explained her process, “then I do some reading to find the right measurements.”
According to her personal website, her interest in economic materials in general, is based on their potential of transformation, using the simplest of techniques and processes based on repetition. Much like patterns found in nature, her sculptures comprehend massive groups of elements that together compose a major complex system.
For Herrera, there is a considerable distance between humans and nature, and throughout her work, she aims to repair this relationship by producing elements that are constantly removed, altered, and forgotten. Her work is, therefore, presented as a resistance of time. Her sculptures portray the ideal state of a thing and also act like a model of representation of a reality that doesn’t suffer any change.