With just a craft knife and a needle, talented Iranian artist Omid Asadi can breathe life into dry, fallen leaves. The 35-year-old, now based in the UK, carves breathtaking silhouettes into fragile brown leaves, creating exquisite pieces of art. Right from celebrity portraits to wild animals, or even random patterns – Omid is an expert at using the natural shape of a leaf to transform it into a wide range of subjects.
“Art for me is the way of looking differently to this world and around myself,” Omid said. “I started to think why nobody paid attention to these beautiful leaves and trod on them, because of their name – if they were called flowers we wouldn’t tread on them at all! I wanted to give the leaves another life and make art from them.”
Omid revealed that he creates the art using actual fallen leaves that he picks up from the streets. He then uses a special cutting and carving technique to convert them into works of art. He has used the technique for various projects, like the ‘Coffee Art’ one that was exhibited in London.
For this project, Omid carved the image of a coffee-drenched human hand on to a dried maple leaf, and made dripped coffee stains onto the background paper for an added effect. The finished 16” x 12” artwork was used as a symbol of the Coffee Art Project magazine in 2013.
“This piece of work is not merely a representation of a hand and a pleasant coffee stain,” he explained. “It is a representation of people who might have lead unpleasant lives and hard work to make this tasteful coffee. When we enjoy the fabric and resources that we have in life, we forget to stop and think where it all came from. Every crease on that hand represents a hardship and destitution someone exchanged for others’ satisfaction.”
Some of Omid’s other works have been exhibited at the Charlton Art Festival 2013, and at the Arison Art Gallery in the same year. His work was was displayed at a competition in Milan, where the panel of judges placed him among the top 30 artists. His pieces were then auctioned off to raise funds to provide clean water in Africa/Tanzania.