Ferns are rather interesting plants: they've been around for a while (at least 350 million years to be exact) and reproduce with spores, rather than with seeds or flowers. They look pretty simple, but actually exhibit that fractal beauty that's present in so much of nature.
Based out of England, artist Helen Ahpornsiri uses these fractal bits of dried ferns, along with algae and gold leaf and ink accents to create colourful collages of animals and insects that seem to pop off the page.
As can be seen on her website, Ahpornsiri's creative process involves a lot of careful cutting and splicing of plants with a knife, prior to the meticulous arrangement of these components into a recognizable form on the paper. She says:
All images are made using only real flowers, petals, stems and leaves. These are grown or foraged responsibly before being placed in a flower press. After 1-6 weeks of pressing, the flora and foliage is flat and ready to use – preserved in their natural colours, with no paints or dyes. Each piece is then cut and delicately positioned to form detailed illustrations; all brimming with the intricate twists and tangles of plant life.
Some of these works are incredibly tiny -- it's likely she has to hold her breath to get the leaves in place. Up close, one can see the amount of detail that's packed in one area, bursting with natural colours and swirls from the leaves themselves.
[Via: This Is Colossal]