Dublin based artist Julianna Szabo is the creator of intricately detailed, hand-cut paper sets and illustrations. Her tactile worlds are often three dimensional and sometimes even brought to life with the use of stop motion animation, drawing you in with several visual metaphors. This typographic series was a commission for the annual Silk Road Film Festival, where she was asked to create a poster that represented the event. Her inspiration was drawn from the ancient silk road itself, making the 3D hand crafted, paper letters a representation of the journey along that road.
The S, in the form of a mountain, represents China and is wrapped with a winding dragon, the R representing India, is stacked with a tall latticed building atop an elephant, the F for the Arabic world, features beautiful golden mosque domes and a camel in the desert, and lastly, the F for Europe, features well known landmarks, like Greek columns, the Roman Amphitheater and the waterways of Venice. Be sure to watch the making of to get a more in depth look into how it all came together. Each letter is so ornately detailed and fashioned with the monuments and architectural structures from these regions, I can only imagine the amount of hours it must have taken to accomplish such a wonderful masterpiece.
A Chinese dragon, a pavilion and the landscape with waterfall dominate S, the first letter. She has placed a ram on the rock to represent the Year of the Sheep, which started in February 2015.
The vibrant colors, along with the naturalistic patterns represent India on the letter R. The Indian elephant is the bearer of immense houses on its back, while the peacock, as the national symbol, sits on the well-known Indian structure of the stairwell.
All the soft yellow colors of the landscapes of the Middle East can be found on the first F. To the bottom of the letter she incorporates a paper cedar tree of Lebanon. Directly from the tree, the desert begins with sand dunes and the Arabian camel. The famous Arabic falcon is represented above the tree, while the typical magnificent Arab mosques stand atop the letter with their vibrant colors and geometric patterns.
The last F shows the final stage of the ancient silk road, Europe, with the Greek columns, Roman Amphitheater and Venice. The spine of the letter is the Mediterranean Sea itself, the vast water surface with ships and dolphins.
The Silk Road Film Festival welcomes films from countries which were part of the historical network of ancient trade routes across the Afro-Eurasian landmass that connected Persia, Middle East, Arab, East, South, and Western Asia with the Mediterranean and European world, as well as parts of North and East Africa.
all images courtesy of Julianna Szabo