How One Artist Utterly Transforms Found Paper

Ben Lewis Giles is turning old paper into stunning new works of art through his brilliant and painstaking collages.

Ben Lewis Giles has a thing for paper.

“Much of what I use is from vintage books and encyclopedias, as well as the classic National Geographic from the 1950s through the 1980s,” the British artist says to Jill Blackmore Evans in Format Magazine. “I go through large quantities of flower and tree guides and garden books. I love hunting for, and using, physical materials, rather than printing images or creating digitally.”

Those materials, Evans reports, might include medical textbooks, vintage advertising and other “strange found materials,” and he repurposes them into truly beautiful works of art.

“Recently, Giles’s work has evolved off the page, to life-sized installations that still use collaged materials: paper butterflies on a tree (pictured below), a hand-made wave cresting on a beach,” Evans notes. “On and off paper, Giles’s intricately detailed images challenge the boundary between real and imagined, creating a rich fantasy world that you can stare at for hours.”

Which we absolutely did. Enjoy the artwork in this article, and check out the rest at The tangible, physical beauty of print becomes something else entirely in this gifted artist’s hands.