If you’re an artist, there are so many mediums to have fun with. So when Shanell Papp from Lethbridge, Canada decided to explore the human body she picked a method that excited her just as much as the theme. Crochet.
“I began crocheting from books,” Papp told Bored Panda. “It was part of my whole fascination with textiles and string. My grandmother ran a junk shop and I was encouraged to take textiles materials and examine old projects. I began to teach myself to sew, knit, crochet, rug hook, macrame, etc. I kinda had a weird set up ask a kid. Spare time and a junk shop to pick through.”
In total, her project LAB took her about eight months. Four of them to make the skeleton and another four to create the internal organs. “I was curious about the human body and I wanted to make a human body. I was interested in medical history and how we attempt to solve everything, but we are fragile.” To make it as close to the real deal as possible, the artist borrowed a human skeleton from a university and collected anatomical textbooks.
“I was interested in medicine and applied to become an x-ray technician, but never attended. I stayed in art school, I wanted to continue learning new skills with my hands and I loved talking about art. Otherwise, I still read many books on medical history, death, and crime. I am interested in knowing about all the things that scare me.”
“[The whole project] was kinda tricky, but I found it interesting to figure out,” Papp said. “I really enjoyed making all the vertebrae, because they were like unique granny squares. Like tiny puzzles.”
“This project encouraged me to make more textile work,” she added. “I was in art school at the time focusing on photography and made this as an independent studio project. Textiles were my secret skill that never had a celebrated place in contemporary art and art schools. It had no conceptual potential, it was just seen as a craft. I think this piece pushed me to push the medium and seek out other artists who work like me.”