Saturday 25 June 2011

paper artist :: Su Blackwell

Su Blackwell has a way with paper ~ her gorgeous book sculptures are paper fantasies of incredible intricacy and magical enchantment.

“Paper has been used for communication since its invention; either between humans or in an attempt to communicate with the spirit world. I employ this delicate, accessible medium and use irreversible, destructive processes to reflect on the precariousness of the world we inhabit and the fragility of our life, dreams and ambitions.” Su Blackwell

Su Blackwell makes intricate art-works from every-day objects, transforming clothes and books into fantastical three-dimensional forms. Using a scalpel she cuts and glues the pages of books to create miniature dioramas glowing with lights in wood and glass boxes, like Victorian relics found in a museum of intrigue. She uses repetitive labor-intensive processes that often involve sewing, knotting, folding and cutting.

She finds her books – or rather lets them find her – by trawling through second-hand book shops. She always reads the book first and this in turn inspires the work. Some of the books that come into the artist’s possession sit on her shelf for months and months. The books themselves, their histories and stories, also interest her. They hold in their pages a record of their past events, as physical objects; their damage, such as frays and stains, makes our relationship with the contents immediate and visceral, and in turn tells another story. Long & Ryle

There is a great interview with Su at My Love for You is a Stampede of Horses, here is an exerpt…“I read in a book a Burmese legend about the soul butterfly or win-laik-pya…it is believed that a sleeping person’s soul takes the shape of a butterfly and flies abroad while it’s owner is asleep, searching for the souls of other persons and animals and returning when the owner awakes.  burmese children are still taught never to wake a sleeping person for fear they may die, or worse, live on, without a soul.”

I discovered Su Blackwell in an editorial from British Vogue’s Fantastic Fashion Fantasy issue where she created an enchanting Christmas fantasyland of book-cut sculptures. And she has a blog showcasing her exquisite work.


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