Dead leaves, with their satisfying crunchy textures, can be so brittle that they break with the slightest touch. In the hands of German artist Susanna Bauer, however, these delicate dried leaves are transformed into stunning crocheted and embroidered sculptures. In a seemingly impossible feat, Bauer pulls hooks and thread through the leaves to create surreal miniature masterpieces that speak to the vulnerability and resilience found in nature.
Susanna Bauer’s steady hands and patience were trained from an early age when she learned crocheting as a child. She later worked in the television and film industry for over 16 years, honing her exacting skills by building miniatures for shows like Wallace and Gromit. Bauer now produces artwork that beautifully manipulates natural objects that are often overlooked, such as leaves, stones, and pieces of wood.
“There is a fine balance in my work between fragility and strength; literally, when it comes to pulling a fine thread through a brittle leaf or thin dry piece of wood, but also in a wider context – the tenderness and tension in human connections, the transient yet enduring beauty of nature that can be found in the smallest detail, vulnerability and resilience that could be transferred to nature as a whole or the stories of individual beings,” says Bauer.
Bauer does not specially treat the leaves for added durability, however, can keep certain leaves in storage for years before she’s ready to use them. She creates both 2D leaf art and 3D leaf art with her embroidery and crochet. Bauer is currently showcasing her new body of work at the Lemon Street Gallery in Cornwall, England through June 27.