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London artist Benjamin Shine is creating amazing sculptures and portraits made from nothing but delicate tulle fabric. The results are completely taking our breath away.

The great-grandson of a tailor, Shine grew up surrounded by textiles. His entire family was in the clothing business, and for a while, Shine himself worked as a fashion designer. In a video posted to YouTube by Benjamin Shine Studio, he says working in fashion helped him discover, “what fabric was as a medium and what could be done with it.”

Soon he began using fabric in new and innovative ways. He says, “Instead of taking a tube of green paint and dipping in the paintbrush and painting, I already had the green line in my hand and it’s a case of where can I go with it in space? So the idea of painting with fabric was the first spark of the idea.” He eventually settled on tulle. It’s light delicacy gives it a feminine quality that Shine enjoys exploring in portraits such as this one of Elizabeth Taylor.

Believe it or not, that’s not a drawing. The portrait is created entirely out of tulle, which he affixes to the wall and then painstakingly manipulates into folds with an iron.

As he says in the caption, his aim in using tulle is to “reflect the fragile, fleeting nature of life.” The more he worked with the fabric, the further he began to take it. Soon he began exploring the idea of ballet. Shine said, “The link between tulle and ballet is there already, and it seemed great to kind of see where that could go.”

Where it went is stunning. Shine photographed dancers in motion and then recreated their movements in colorful tulle sculptures. The artwork is enormous, yet ethereal and light at the same time. It perfectly captures the elegance and airy quality of ballet.

Shine’s dancers are part of an exhibit currently on display at the Canberra Centre in Australia. The installation, aptly titled The Dance, also includes large, colorful portraits.

We’re in awe of Shine’s creativity and can’t wait to see where his artistic journey with fabric takes him next! Watch the artist in action in the video below.

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[All images via YouTube video and Instagram @benjaminshinestudio]