Irina Parosova, a self-taught artist from the Russian city of Syzran, creates mind-blowing artworks from straw. Work on just one of these masterpieces can take from one day to a whole month, depending on the complexity of the project.
Straw is usually defined as an agricultural byproduct that is mostly used for livestock bedding and fodder, thatching and basket making. But for Russian artist Irina Parosova straw is a complex artistic medium that can be turned into amazing artworks. The self-taught master started making straw art as a child, in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. She was 11 years old when her geography teacher came back from a holiday and brought them a photo album as a souvenir. But it wasn’t the photos that caught Irina’s attention, but the straw-inlaid cover of the album. She went home, climbed to the attic of her house where some straw-filled mattresses were stored, pulled out a few pieces of straw and started replicating the photo of a ballerina she found in an old magazine. It wasn’t her best work, but at that age she already thought of it as a masterpiece. But then she abandoned straw for the next 21 years. it was only after the birth of her second child that she rediscovered this amazing art form, when she used it to provide for her family. Her Russian husband had problems with the Uzbek language and couldn’t find a job, so she had to use her artistic skills to feed her children. Her straw art helped them overcome the financial crisis and since then Irina Parosova has become an acclaimed Russian artist.