The DIORAMA series is an extension of the Otherworld series and continues the exploration of imaginary characters and landscapes as a metaphor for the human condition. What distinguishes this series is the use of layered paper cutouts to create a sense of depth and weight to the line drawings. The play of light and shadow in each piece adds another dimension to the originally flat cutouts of the line drawings. The term ‘diorama’ is used to describe the creation of a scene using models against a painted backdrop. Museums often feature dioramas and as a child ERYN was attracted to the displays in the natural history section. The fascination arose from the possibilities of creating different scenes, for example by adding imaginary monsters and creatures into the landscape and how this changes the narrative.
ERYN had decided to create the first layered cutout piece as a submission for the UOB Painting of the Year 2015 art competition. The Wondering Heart is set in an imaginary inner world represented by an anthropomorphic landscape. At the center is a jeweled heart with an open door from which pairs of identical imaginary creatures are coming into this world. The identical pairs allude to the concept of dualism in life, and is also reflected in the landscape where night and day are simultaneously depicted. The landscape is at once wild and familiar, with sights such as oil palm plantations and mangrove forests turned into something fantastical. Upon closer observation what looked to be oil palms are the tail plumes of bird-like creatures with their heads peeking out near the ground. In a nearby field a tapir, horse and crocodile play a game of football. Much of the landscape is based on the scenery the artist observed while travelling back and forth from Penang to Kuala Lumpur. The Wondering Heart was the recipient of the Gold award in the Emerging Artist category from the UOB Painting of the Year 2015.
Subsequently, ERYN continued to experiment with layered paper cutouts to tell various stories. The current series, Strange Botanicals, unifies the storytelling into a focused narrative while continuing to work within the style of layered cutouts first developed in the Diorama series.