If you’ve ever moved from one city to another, you know there are many challenges to face. Finding a place to live, changing your mailing address, learning the local lingo. If you’re not moving for a job, well, you’ve got to find one of those, too. Moving from one country to another is even more challenging. When Omid Asadi came to England from Iran several years ago, he wasn’t thinking about leaves. He was likely worried about the same things everyone else was. But out one day on a walk with his wife, Elham Rafiei, he started thinking about leaves. How people preferred flowers. How when the leaves fell, people simply swept them away or tread on them until they were dust. But he thought the leaves in his new town were beautiful, and worthy of celebration. Working with his wife, who is skilled in the art of Persian miniature painting, he began to develop a way to turn nature’s trash into artistic treasure.
As Omid says in his artist’s statement, “Art for me is the way of looking differently to this world and around myself. I started to think why nobody paid attention to these beautiful leaves and trod on them, because of their name – if they were called flowers we wouldn’t tread on them at all! I wanted to give the leaves another Life and make art from them.” He also frequently cites a quote of unknown origin in reference to his work: “Anyone can love a rose, but it takes a lot to love a leaf. It’s ordinary to love the beautiful but it’s beautiful to love the ordinary.”
The leaves are all carved completely by hand, and most are then affixed to paper with wood glue before being mounted and framed.
Omid uses both the leaf itself and the “negative” white space to create beautiful, intricate and fantastical images. Check out this surreal piece.
Some of the work references the medium directly, especially this one which also reminds us of his inspiration for using leaves in the first place: everyone else simply sweeps them up and throws them away.
One of his most popular pieces so far has been this fanciful work of whimsy, with people riding away on dandelion fluff.
The level of detail in some of the work is beyond extraordinary. Omid utilizes a scalpel and a needle to work his way down to near-microscopic holes carved out between the veins of the leaf.
The work is arduous but the results speak for themselves. Especially when you can really understand, this is an actual leaf that has been carved with such fine detail!
We’re guessing his engineering background might have something to do with his obsession with minutiae. Certainly it take a perfectionist to do something like this!
But even his simpler work is quite extradordinary. This eye, for example.
Or even his earliest work, like this cut-out of Big Ben. While you can clearly see how far he’s come in his technical skills since then, this simpler design is just as lovely as his latest and greatest.
Speaking of his latest work, how incredible is this? At some point he might start splitting molecules if he gets any more detailed!
Clearly all that time spent hunched over a magnifying glass is paying off. His work has already been in several exhibitions and people are clamoring to purchase his unique works of art at prices of up to $3,000.
For more of his beautiful work, check out Omid’s Facebook page. Also hear his own words on his work in this short video interview: