As my artistic practice evolves, new opportunities arrive from problems. I have long been fascinated by papercuts. Papercuts are the origins of much of my work; I use papercuts for masks when making silkscreen prints, I use them for barriers to light for cyanotypes and lastly, I employ multiple layers of papercuts to create 3D Paper Sculptures.
Paper is endlessly versatile as a product. It replaced vellum and papyrus and hasn’t been superseded for hundreds of years. It’s disposable, recyclable, portable, tearable, and malleable, it can hold an impression and has memories of folds. It can be cut easily, scored and perforated with holes, yet keeps its shape. It bonds beautifully with adhesives and lasts.
My 3D paper sculptures feature both the robustness of paper and its delicate nature. Constructing them is hazardous, for a slip of a knife or a blunt edge can convert a straight edge to a jagged scar that is difficult to put right, often resulting in discarding that layer entierly.
I wanted to advance the technique further and I had the idea to try and create castings from them. Doing so carries a high risk for whilst cutting each layer risks damaging a layer, whereas creating a mould will destroy the whole artwork and a good result isn’t guaranteed.
I created another detailed papercut and taking care to seal it well, started the mould-making process. The end result was better than I could imagine and now opens up new possibilities to explore this new casting process.
Several original papercuts and castings are currently exhibited at Chartham Vineyard Exhibition. Open Every Saturday 10:30-17:00 Until December 16th 2023.