It’s not often you get to work alongside or in response to an artist who you’ve followed and admired for many years…someone who has inspired your practice and work(shops). Yesterday, I had this opportunity as I was invited by the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) in Stratford-upon-Avon to facilitate a papercutting workshop during the half-term holiday in response to Béatrice Coron‘s new papercut called ‘Neverland’ (2015). I’ve followed her work for many years now and finally we collide! She created this work specifically for their current temporary exhibition ‘Make-Believe: The Art of Neverland’, which presents new imaginations of Wendy and Peter Pan’s world by many artists including other papercut works by Andrea Dezsö and Kerry Miller (as shown below).
My workshop began in the exhibition space to provide a first-hand introduction and real context, showing participants the potential of what they were about to make…then taking them over to the RSC’s Clore Learning Centre to start making and creating. They all came up with, yet again, such personalised, original papercuts. I’m always blown away by how individual they are and their vision to turn a simple process into a complex visual image. I say this every time!
As I went to Asia last month (still so much to blog about that trip before 2016 kicks in), I had new papers to use in the session. That’s a day I need to tell you about…roaming Fuzhou Lu in Shanghai for all things fresh print and paper with my friend Sibylla. The Chinese papers…printed and patterned…organic and handmade…gave so much more (probably too much) choice for the workshop participants, where the “go-to” paper was (as always) the dark, dark, DARK matte navy blue that seems deeper than the night sky in tonality. Such a range of ages attended, working at a rate like never before, creating one, two or even three papercuts…framed or as greetings cards. A brother and sister duo were so completely engaged to the extent that the boy had his face only centimetres away from the paper for concentration and accuracy…one proud father watching by their side. I run the workshops for these moments. Here’s to a great afternoon! A big thanks to those who joined me, also to Nicky Cox and Emma from the RSC.
My next papercutting workshop is at Leicestershire Craft Centre on 17 November 2015…come along if you can! There are still 5 places left…