The days when festive paper art referred to a modest paper snowflake are long behind us. The simple Christmas paperchains we crafted as children are a stark contrast to the insane talent of paper artists such as Julene Harrison and Helen Musselwhite.
When people think of paper art they may think of a traditional and significantly two-dimensional craft, when in fact the artistry of paper is one of the most intricate and innovative mediums to use to bring ideas to life! From minimal silhouetted cuttings, to stories sculpted from a dozen fragile folds, the craft reminds me of the endless possibilities achievable with a single sheet of paper. When we watch videos such as ‘The Making of The Bear & The Hare’ it shows us that traditional techniques are making a big comeback, and that there is nothing more emotive than proper handmade art.
The creative geniuses behind the revival of paper artwork include artists such as the amazingly talented Julene Harrison, who creates beautifully intricate cuttings of text, illustration and portraits. The characters and cuttings in her work seamlessly flow from one image to another, as if you were watching a love story unfold before you. Young illustrator, designer and animator Allison Freund who creates cute and colourful winter (heart)warmers, will make you want to cosy up to a bear inside a cave for the second time this Christmas.
The captivating artist Elly MacKay (aka Theatre Clouds), is a Canadian artist who combines paper, light and photography to bring to life a tiny theatre, exploring childhood through the fascinating world of paper. Looking at her pieces makes you feel as though you have returned to Never Never land as Peter Pan himself. Artist Helen Musselwhite is worth a mention too, and she creates magical illustrated models inspired by nature, which feel like tiny stages that you could actually imagine stepping on.
These works are all so beautiful and intricate that I can’t help but think that if there’s one thing these artists must share, besides sheer skill and imagination, it would be papercuts!
Images: Julene Harrison-multiple images madebyjulene.com, Allison Freund ‘Holiday Design’ – allisonfreund.com, Elly MacKay ‘He Marks The Day’ – ellymackay.com, Helen Musselwhite ‘Holland Herald’ – helenmusselwhite.co.uk.