Thursday 31 January 2008

Pale papercuts

Oh dear, I blew it. I'm very disapointed that my health couldn't match my intentions as far as blogging white all month. I only realised on the way to the dentist (94 out of 100, very pleased) that this was the last day of the month and I still have over 100 white pieces to show!

I decided to cram lots of then into one last post, but I see that blogger has a planned 'outage' today so I'll just pop in 3 of my favourite papercut artists and then, if by chance I can squeeze in a few more later it'll be a wee bonus. This post is dedicated to Liz, who I visited on the way back from the dentist. My first proper social contact since early November. We have probably sent each other into a downward M.E. spiral, but it was fun to have a good bitch about incompetent Doctors :0)

Andreas Kocks: Paperworks, detail

His papercuts are very organic and he covers entire walls of gallery spaces with them. Really stunning and best seen in context on his website. Seeing his giant pieces made me want to give up completely (not that I'm making currently), he does brilliantly on a large scale what I do mediocrely (made-up use of that word?) on a smaller scale. Andreas has 3 shows on in Munich just now (visit his site for details) and will be showing at the Chicago Art Fair in April.

Chris Natrop: Into the silver see through (detail) 2006

I've always loved everything Chris does, he is a paper-cutting god as far as I'm concerned, so much intricacy on such a large scale. As with Andreas,
you should visit his site to see them in all their full glory. Chris has always been good at delicacy, creating pieces that totally fill the spaces they inhabit, but which seem light as air. If you are in LA you can see his work until February 16 as part of 'Possible Impossible Dimension: Six Artists on the Brink of Abstraction' at Eagle Rock Arts Center.

Hunter Stabler: Papercut, 2006, originally uploaded by Sokref1

Ok, not white, but his work sits so nicely with the other two. I first saw his work on Flickr and thought it was laser cut. Not so, apparently his pieces are hand drawn and hand cut - respect!

Wednesday 30 January 2008

Curvy white buildings - 1

Student entry from the 2004 Snow Show found here

Anish Kapoor: When I am Pregnant, 1992
and Sister piece of When I am Pregnant, 2005
via Studio International

Michael De Broin: Hole, 2002 (this is the back of a caravan)

Tuesday 29 January 2008

Ooh, an award!

I picked this from my old photo's as it perfectly reflects how I feel just now... handle gently.

I never planned such a long break from my blog, but I feel like I still need a a little more computer free time so I wanted to let you know, and also to reassure you I'm looking after myself as best I can. Thank you again for all your comments,
it's been extra nice hearing from lots of new people as well as those who's regular visits I treasure. I'm doing my best to visit all of your blogs whenever I do put the computer on.

One comment that especially cheered me came from Andrea Tachezy who gave me a 'You Make My Day Award', Andrea, thank you so much, you make my day too, truly.

"You make my day-Award" works like this:
1. Write a post with links to 5 blogs that make me think and/or make my day.
2. Acknowledge the post of the award giver.
3. Display the "You Make my Day Award" logo with a link to the post that I wrote. (Optional)
4. Tell the award winners that they have won by commenting on their blogs with the news.

Here are five that spring to mind as places that in different ways bring a smile, stimulate my thoughts and generally make my day better, I hope they will do the same for you...
Andrea Tachezy
Anna - Twelve22
Heather Smith Jones
Kirsty Hall - Up All Night Again
Mary-Laure - Aurea (only discovered today via her comment)

Wednesday 23 January 2008

A few days off

Detail from a page of a papercut sketchbook, 1991

I took this photo on Monday (rain and sleet outside, that's why it's so grey).
I'm needing a mini blog break, had a really stressful time with my Doctor who seems only to want to drug me to the eyeballs with things that make me sick rather than do anything to improve my health, or at the very least support me in my desire to do it myself. I'll be back in a few days I'm sure. Before I go I'd like to thank you all for your comments this month, they have really made a difficult month a lot easier. Wishing you deep sleep and good weather.

Sunday 20 January 2008

Pierced paper - pinholes part 2

Well, you know how I said I'd lost lots of paper cut links when my internet connection kept stopping last week, well I've hunted about and re-found a few for you. Some can be seen larger if you click the picture, but as always, the best detail is on the artists sites which are worth visiting to see more of their work and to get further information about their methods and ideas.

First up a Scottish gal who went to the same art college as me (but a few years later). Eileen MacDonald now lives and teaches in the U.S. and makes very sculptural pinhole drawings...

Eileen MacDonald: Untitled, pinpricks on paper, 2005

Anna Mawby created 'Interminable' by hand piercing the phrase "I was waiting" on a 3 metre long piece of paper taking 6 hours a day for 6 weeks. 'One Day' is a piece with letters on a larger scale, each large letter made with 100's of pin pricks...

Anna Mawby: Interminable, detail. 2007

Eloise Ghioni made the next piece as part of her recent Third Skin range of work, available to buy on ETSY. She also has her work on Flickr...

Eloise Ghioni: Third Skin, paper (via Etsy)

Saturday 19 January 2008

Terhi Tolvanen, again

Terhi Tolvanen: Woodland - White Corticola, 2007

Terhi Tolvanen: Woodland - Zig Zag, 2007

I never stop loving Terhi's work and these pieces from last year's Woodland series are no exception, they're so perfect, especially White Coticola.

Friday 18 January 2008

Just me, thinking about things

Design for print and papercut 1991

Unfinished test cut from one of my papercut sketchbooks 1991

(reverse side shown)

I have mountains of white art, books, ceramics, textiles that I planned to photograph and show from my past, but my energy is at it's lowest in 17yrs, even picking up the camera seems like preparing for a mountain hike, so I'm afraid you are stuck with the things I had already taken shots of for other purposes. I do have some good pics, but it's things I'm still haven't the courage to show. You'd think I'd feel easier about it 17 years on but the fact that I made this work when I first had M.E means that all the feelings I had invested in it then are all popping up again mow, so it feels current, not old at all.

This next bit is just thoughts that needed out of my head after a particularly difficult time walking Lucy today, nothing to do with art so you may want to skip it.

Update - My post was depressing me a bit so I've moved it to the comments section, but have left the relevant photo's here and also the link to
Danger: field liable to sudden collapse. Also the link for Marley, losing our jobs, and Lucy (who was called Tia then).

View from the dangerous field, December '07

Hedge on the edge of the dangerous field, December '07

Giant Hogweed in the dangerous field, December '07

Thursday 17 January 2008

Pale simple jewellery

These speak for themselves in hushed tones...

Truik Verdegaal: Portraits - Brooch 2005

Bettina Speckner: Brooch, Untitled 2007 (via Klimt02)

Kristin Beeler: Honey

Åsa Lockner: Brooch, 2006

Speaking of jewellery, Abigail has a new shop. I was going to mention it when showing Ana's work (they collaborated) but I've not heard back from Ana if it's ok to post her images, will show if I get the ok. I'd show pictures but they are not on white.

Part of my 'All things white and beautiful' postings, a visual snowscape of creativity and observations in shades of white through January.

Wednesday 16 January 2008

Andrea Tachezy - Artists book

Andrea Tachezy: 2006
1 page from her book about the rabbits of Na Habří

A beautiful book, a beautiful blog - Andrea Tachezy made this lovely book inspired by the winter rabbits of Na Habří. I love the layers, the semi-translucency of the book (you know how I like that in my own books). Here are more pages...

Follow the links above to see more pages from this book, and to see her other work on her blog.

Tuesday 15 January 2008

Misako Inaoka - sculpture

Misako Inaoko: Twig Bird 2006

Heather and Alicia's Noticing Project reminded me of Misaka Inaoka an artist who is all about noticing. In her own words...

"My interests arise from the boundary between what we call natural and artificial. I observe the physical and social environment in detail, to find hidden beauty and peculiarity-- things such as a cell phone antenna in the shape of a pine tree, birds that are not native to the area, or moss growing in a crack of cement sidewalk. I emphasize these subtle details and exaggerate their illogicality to cultivate my own version of invented creatures."

Read the second half of her statement here.

Misako Inaoko: Green-Pin Bird 2006

Misako Inaoko: Red Bird 2006

You can't tell by looking but these pieces have motion sensors, they move! And make sounds. See the Red Bird video documentation. Here is one of the pieces from her Evolutionary Tree work, 2007...

Misako Inaoko: Pird 2007

Monday 14 January 2008

Pierced paper - pinholes

Heather Smith Jones: Pinhole detail

You'll not believe it but this is the massively shortened version of this post! Shortened all the more by our loss of internet connection at the weekend which meant half my pics and links were lost. I'm afraid I can't face doing it all again so it's a bit heavy on words rather than images. I'd also hoped to show my own work too but I've not been well enough to go hunting through cold storage rooms so instead there is a long rambling attempt to describe my own ties with pin pricks in art, which you may prefer to skip and just head straight to the people I'm posting about.

My own pierced work began in the traditional way, using pin pricks to transfer the outline of a design onto paper or fabric. Ideal for repeats on a lot of my papercuts, marking the start and finish points but leaving room for the blade to vary with each separate cut so that every layer is subtly different. I like difference.

Practice cut from one of my sketchbooks 1991
A teeny tiny bit of piercing in there
(sorry, all I had available to show)

That's one off-putting thing (for me) about laser cutting - the exact sameness of it all.
I also used pin pricks to mark out the designs for my thread and string works and though I loved how it looked, Iwas too focussed on the planned piece to fully appreciate that the pattern on it's own was enough (dammit, I could have saved myself a lot of time if I had, those thread and string pieces took weeks, months at times).

Piercing as a permanent part of the piece happened accidentally at college when I had a sewing machine (still have it, a hand crank Singer) whose thread snapped a lot. Working by candlelight & streetlight with pale thread on pale papers, I didn't always notice until I had finished, but I liked the pierced lines that were left, and began using them in my mixed media work and papercuts to create texture and emphasise contour or pattern edges. Also they are great in bookmaking and paper folding for creating perforated folds, or tear offs.

My favourite use was in my lighting to bring miniature pin pricks of light to the work (light play has a big role in many of my pieces, and you know how I am about that goes double for small lights, the tinier the light the more I love it). But I never used it as the primary source of the image itself. My lighting was usually 50% was stitched, 50% pricked, but it was the light itself that was the star of the show, not the pin pricks in their own right.

That's why I am
so enamoured of the pieces below where the pin prick takes front of stage. Works where skill is required to place each prick in the right place because it's place is important. When I dig out my old pieces you'll see that my placing was very free-form (like so much that I do, I hate to feel like the piece is telling me what to do). So I really admire the patience, the obsession, that goes into the making of the works shown below.

Heather Smith Jones: Formation VI

I'm especially smitten by the work of Heather Smith Jones who's talents I only came across a few months ago (big thanks to Susan at Artstream) and who, among others, I will be doing a collaboration with this year based on my stash of papercut books from the early 90's - very exciting :0)

My own pricks push into the paper leaving a crisp hole on flat paper. The beauty of Heather's (and to some degree some of the others) is that the back becomes the front so the punctured paper protrudes creating subtle but definite shadows that make the marks jump of the page. She has brought so much skill to the practice, perfectly controlling the degree of protrusion to get just the right effect, then occasionally reversing the direction of the prick to give a different look that only emphasises further the miniature 3d qualities of the protruding pricks. I love, love love it and it's as much about imagining the time and patience of making as it is about the beautiful final result.

Ok, enough rambling, let's look more at their intricate lovely works and I strongly urge you to visit all the sites to see the pieces full size as the tiny pictures I have here do not do justice to the intricacy of these pieces. Let's continue with Heather...

Heather Smith Jones:
Wallpaper pinhole project (ongoing 2007-'08)

Just a taster of her lovely pieces, you should see what she does with
words and how she's beginning to combine them with collage and thread (which relates perfectly to my books for the collaboration). For more check out her beautiful blog which has many links to her other work (she does beautiful drawings and watercolours, this is my current favourite), her Wallpaper Pinhole Project is a true labour of love, her work to buy at Artstream, her Flickr pages, and her new collaborative image a day project with Alicia Alferman - Noticing Project., which I love because I'm all about the little details that most people don't notice and it's great to see other people's noticings.

Moving on, Catherine Bertola is another favourite of mine who's
cut found wallpaper work you may have seen before...

Catherine Bertola: If Walls Could Talk
via Workplace Gallery

Perhaps you've also seen her amazing 'After The Fact' dust drawings (2006), dust has never looked so good. Shown below is one of her anatomy pieces, pinprick knickers!..

Catherine Bertola: Prickings,
Anatomy #10
Via Axisweb. click
here to see full size

Catherine Bertola: Prickings,
Anatomy #10 (detail)

I came across
Celio Braga through his bead work but it was his carved paper work that I truly loved as it was similar to my papercut explorations...

Celio Braga: Untitled 2004, cuts on paper
(listed under 'carved drawings' on his site)

Like Catherine, he has also worked with pinpricks and the piece below is again similar to mine in that he's working with the line to emphasise the image it accompanies and there is also a little embossing (oh how I love embossing)...

Celio Braga: Untitled 8 2002
(listed under 'drawings' on his site)

I'll let you do your own exploring of the links above, and here a few others if you're really getting a taste for this type of work-
Catherine Garvey Macmahon: Mappings 2004
Leslie Yagar does very organic perforations and drawing on rice paper.
• Siân Bowen works with both pin pricks and laser incisions such as her
'Gaze' series 2006 and she touches on some of the historical background to piercing in her V&A weblog.

Finally, this one's not piercing at all, it's acrylic on paper, but it has such a pierced look I popped in in the mix anyway cause I like it. I've always had a thing for paper towel patterns, they're like the doily's poor country cousin, not as fancy, not as pretty, but honest and sturdy with their own simple beauty.

Lisha H Bai: The Earth Friendly Paper Towel Series 2006

Part of my 'All things white and beautiful' postings, a visual snowscape of creativity and observations in shades of white through January.

Friday 11 January 2008

Chris Gilmore: Cardboard Sculpture

Chris Gilmore does amazing things with cardboard and glue...

Chris Gilmore: Aston Martin 2006 -life size!

Chris Gilmore: Bikes (installation view) 2003

Thursday 10 January 2008

Mario Hugo

Mario Hugo: Nowhere Again, (detail) 2007 (click to enlarge)

A wonderful embroidered version of the illustration below...

Mario Hugo: Nowhere To Go and Everything To See, 2007

Wednesday 9 January 2008

Organic shaped ceramics

Cheryl Ann Thomas: Relic 52, 2006
at the Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts

Timea Sido: Fragile Fragment bowls

Caroline Gomez: dinette 1 (detail)

Ana Hillar: via Open Studio Faenza

Ana Hillar: via Open Studio Faenza

Part of my 'All things white and beautiful' postings, a visual snowscape of creativity and observations in shades of white through January.

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