Look Closer

Artist Etel Adnan has been creating art for over fifty years. She makes paintings, tapestries using fabric, ceramics using clay... and a special kind of artwork that she calls her ‘leporellos’.

What’s a ‘leporello’?

Etel Adnan, ‘Key Signs’ 2017
Etel Adnan
Key Signs 2017
Tate
© Etel Adnan
Etel Adnan, ‘Untitled’ 1970
Etel Adnan
Untitled 1970
Tate
© Etel Adnan

A leporello is a bit like a fold-out book. To make one, Adnan folds long strips of paper and covers them with watercolour paint, as well as bits of poetry, writing and symbols.

She was inspired by similar folding books that she had seen in Japan when she went there. They also look like the kinds of small souvenirs that were once sold in Victorian England, or even modern-day flip books (a tiny book that you flip through quickly to see a moving image). A bit like a paper cinema!

Why not grab a piece of paper and make your own leporello or flip book? You can cover the page with anything you like. You could use these examples by Etel Adnan for inspiration, or write down a line from your favourite book or your favourite song... or whatever comes to mind!