So a while ago, as part of my teacher training, I had to develop new skills in an area of art and design I was not confident in and create new work for an exhibition at the university. As I have now finished my teacher training (yes!), I decided it was about time I blogged about this new passion of mine…papercutting.
I love it. I love the fragile, tactile, lace-like nature of the cut paper; I love the beautiful, ethereal imagery and I love the therapeutic, hypnotic, meditative process of paper cutting. (However, what I love less are the 5 small spiders I just found crawling up my leg as I write this!).
Before this project, I had previously worked in the Paper Scissors Stone/Made in Bristol shops with the very talented Sarah Dennis (http://www.sarah-dennis.co.uk):
Her work, the work of Michael Lomax (a fellow undergraduate- http://www.gola.co.uk/borninbritain/michael-lomax/) and the popular Rob Ryan, first introduced me to this artform.
Have an oggle at some of the other fantastic paper artists I researched before attempting my own paper cuts:
Zim and Zou:
Emma Van Leest:
So after experimenting with quilling and 3d paper sculpture techniques, I began to develop my paper cutting skills. What started as just an assignment, has now become a bit of an obsession and I am looking forward to honing and pushing my (currently quite limited) skills.
Work-in-progress in the lead up to the deadline:
Although I enjoyed the process and like the final outcomes, they were created during a busy teaching placement and alongside masters level essays and therefore I don’t think the ideas behind them are very well developed; more decorative ‘experiments’.
The final piece I completed for the exhibition is the girl’s head with the brambles and the branches. This has a more developed concept. I was beginning to explore low self-confidence and anxiety through this image, something I was feeling a lot during the course and like many people, have had to deal with in the past, and I think this is something I will explore further soon.
The exhibition itself was a brilliant experience. I have exhibited with other illustrators before but not with such a variety of different artists. Ceramicists-turned-textile designers were displayed next to graphic designers-turned-printmakers next to lighting designers-turned-painters and so on. It was also an interesting exercise; learning a completely new skill and analysing how you learn, how different learners work through creative problems and how this can then translate into art and design teaching.