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ARTIST STATEMENT

In a world filled with anxieties, inequities, and dark bouts of depression, we each need a health practice to help us navigate it safely. For myself, it's the meditation of cutting paper.

 

As I get lost in the details, my knife follows the lines until they've led me to the destination:

Delicate windows into abstracted worlds.

There are up to 120 stacked layers in these intricate and otherworldly treasures I call Paper Strata. My goal is that they create an escape from the everyday into the enchanting.

 

They begin life with the whisper of pen on paper, gaining volume as the design develops, a clear melody of mood rising to the surface. Each layer of my originals are then hand-cut using an X-acto knife, and built up from those 2D drawings into sunken-relief sculptures.

 

Quite defiantly for the fine art world, I firmly believe that bigger is not better. I find both the meticulous technical challenges and the resulting delicacy of working small too intriguing to ignore. As such the viewer's attention is most often on the precision cutting or the subject. But I think the true hero of my work is color.

 

Creating in colored paper is a delicious challenge. Picking out which hues I want for a piece is only the beginning. I have to figure out tints vs shades, full saturation vs tone, warm vs cool. And every color changes its appearance once you set it beside another one! Therefore finding the perfect gradient for each piece is the triumph I'm most proud of.

 

When I began this papercutting journey, most of what I saw was cut out of a single sheet of black or white paper. It was never a question for me that I wanted to work instead with multiple layers, creating a delicate strata with my patterns, a sense of depth that changes the piece when viewed from one angle to another. But it was also never a question that I would use the full spectrum of color. Whether the palette is vibrant or subdued, it is an integral part of the work. And while the design is what my art is saying, color is the tone of voice through which each piece speaks.

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