Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Paper Cutting

A friend of mine just showed me this amazing book, Paper Cutting: Contemporary Artists, Timeless Craft, compiled by Laura Heyenga. I thought I'd show you some of my favourite artists from the book, in no particular order.

Fall (2008)

Peter Callesen is a Danish artist who regularly combines large areas of plain white paper with intricately cut and folded paper to create dramatic compositions. 

Impenetrable Castle (2005)

He also does quite a lot of pieces on A4 paper, where the you can see how he cuts out the parts and folds them together to make a 3D shape!  Quite a lot of them are buildings, and I noticed in his bio that he studied architecture.  

 Traces in Snow (2005)

Callesen's work is often darkly humorous, such as the above Traces in Snow, where man and bear meet...and only the bear keeps walking.

Eros & Thanatos (2007)

Kako Ueda's incredibly fine and detailed papercuts are influenced by her Japanese heritage (she was born in Tokyo but moved to the US when she was fifteen). In Japan, paper stencils are used to decorate kimono fabric.

detail of Eros & Thanatos

On her website, Ueda says she is "interested in organic beings - insects, animals and human bodies - how they are born out of nature but constantly being influenced and modified by culture."  I am amazed at the sheer scale of Eros & Thanatos, and the way in which the viewer becomes mesmerised by the detail - tiny spiderwebs, peacock feathers, lizards and insects.

Pandora Opens Box (2009)

I'm sure you've seen Su Blackwell's altered books before, but I had to include them because I find them so enchanting.  

  The Girl in the Wood (2008)

detail of The Girl in the Wood

Specimen (II) Poppy (2005)

Justine Smith lives in London, and currently her work is "concerned with the concept of money, and how it touches every aspect of our lives."  She makes collages and prints, but it is her sculpture that I am interested in, such as her set of floral specimens, displayed under bell jars, and made bank notes. 

The poppy is made from Chinese Yuan, but she has made other flowers in the series out of  Libyan dinars, Turkmenistan manat, Saudi riyals...

detail from The Calculation of Loss (2009)

...and of course the British pound note.

 Influx (2008)

Mia Pearlman makes site-specific cut-paper installations.  I am astounded at how she actually constructs these incredible sculptures, a process which is apparently "intuitive, based on spontaneous decisions in the moment."  

detail of Influx

 Here, Pearlman documents in photographs how she constructed Influx, a fascinating process.

Hina Aoyama, a Japanese artist living in France, has been making paper cuttings since 2000.  Her work is incredibly fine and intricate and would be impressive just as black line drawings.  Cutting it out seems sheer wizardry.

I was amazed to learn that she apparently uses scissors to do her paper cuttings, and you can see some videos of Aoyama at work on Design:Related (scroll down a bit to find them).

I've been following Elsa Mora's blog for a while now.  A Cuban artist, she paints, draws, and works with ceramics and mixed media, but she also makes some wonderful paper sculptures.


To my mind, there's something a little reminiscent of Frida Kahlo in her work, all the naked women and hearts and leaves, and lots of red.

Fern Eyes

Well, that was a look at some of my favourites.  There are 26 artists in Paper Cutting, so it's worth having a look if you can get your hands on a copy.


  1. OMG they are exquisite. thanks for sharing. jx

  2. Il libro di cui parli è bellissimo e il post veramente interessante!
    Complimenti per il tuo blog, mi piace molto!!