Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Paper Cutting: Contemporary Artists, Timeless Craft

by Laura Heyenga, Rob Ryan and Natalie Avella
featuring works by Thomas Allen, Hina Aoyama, Su Blackwell, Zoe Bradley, Yulia Brodskaya, Peter Callesen, Laura Cooperman, Béatrice Coron, Cindy Ferguson, Emily Hogarth, Molly Jey, Andrea Mastrovito, Nikki McClure, Heather Moore, Elsa Mora, Helen Musselwhite, Chris Natrop, Mia Pearlman, Casey Ruble, Rob Ryan, Justine Smith, Matthew Sporzynski, Yuken Teruya, Kako Ueda, Emma van Leest and Patricia Zapata
Were you the kind of child that ate your way all around the edge of the hole in the middle of a biscuit bit by bit with tiny teeth in little nibbles?
Were you the kind of child who spent much more time drawing margins and making multi-colored borders and underlining the titles and subtitles of your homework than ever actually doing it?

I know I was. As a consequence, I saw this book in the library, started to read the preface by Rob Ryan and simply could not leave it there. No way.

I like the fact that I don’t need paint or brushes or water or oil or palettes or canvas, just a piece of paper, a knife, and a pencil, and a rubber eraser. So much less — less mess, less waste, less stuff. More time — more time to say the things I have to say without detail getting in the way. No adding on of paint, layer after layer — no more never quite knowing when to stop. Only taking away and taking away, first of all, all of the holes from the middle of all of the doughnuts in the world, and then the tiny slivery gaps that exist in the spaces in some lovers’ entwined fingers, or maybe that tiny little island of nothingness that lives between two pairs of kissing lips.
Now let me ask... Could you leaf through this book and still dismiss paper cutting as a serious art form? No. But I am sure you know somebody like that. Perhaps he spent all of his childhood diligently doing his homework. Let’s ignore him and do some important stuff.

It is not a how-to book. Its purpose is to inspire; and there are no rules anyway. No expensive materials or equipment is needed. Would you like to give it a try?

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Hina Aoyama, La forêt harmonieuse les fées, 2007

Emily Hogarth, Woodlands, 2008

Heather Moore, Waiting, 2007

Rob Ryan, Boat Couple, 2006

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