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Bianca Severijns detial 1 embriodery in paper art

Embroidery in Paper Art by PaperArtView

Embroidery in Paper Art

In recent years, there has been a movement towards handcraft in the art and design world. We harbor a desire to reacquaint ourselves with workmanship and traditional labor intensive techniques. As a result, a new generation of artists is using hand stitch embroidery techniques to create entire artworks, some combining it with different mediums.

Nicholas Hlobo PaperArtView detail 1
Nicholas Hlobo Embroidery in Paper Art detail

Stitching can be a form of criticism against the instant gratification of our fast moving world. It can also be viewed as a metaphor for social cohesion and togetherness. Or it can simply be used for its intimate character. As an artist, I am happy with the revival of embroidery and the beauty of the rawness of the stitch.

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Nicholas Hlobo Embroidery in Paper Art detail

That is why it was pure joy to encounter South African artist Nicholas Hlobo at the Tate Modern. While looking at his works, I experienced a sense of excitement and enlightenment, for Hlobo plays with the contrast of femininity and masculinity in both his sculptures and paper artworks. Hlobo uses stitching and weaving, which are traditionally undertaken by women in South Africa, on masculine materials such as rubber car tires or sharp cut paper. In his works, he attempts to create conversations with the viewer that explore complex social issues of gender, race and ethnicity.

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Nicholas Hlobo Embroidery in Paper Art detail

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Nicholas Hlobo Embroidery in Paper Art detail “Macaleni Iintozomlambo”

The “baseball” stitch is a repetitive signature in many of Hlobo’s artworks and sculptures. It is both powerful and decorative. His stitching technique and 3D use of paper in his tactile, intricate artwork titled “Macaleni Iintozomlambo” is truly a source of inspiration for me!

Bianca Severijns embroidery on paer art detail 1
Bianca Severijns Embroidery in Paper Art detail

For me, paper is still the medium I am most happy to express myself. The manual and handcrafted execution in my paper art is essential to my work. The labor intensive requirement to shred and tear different forms of paper comes close to the hand labor of stitching and embroidery. That is why for me it felt natural to start experimenting with stitching on paper.

Bianca Severijns Embroidery in
Bianca Severijns Embroidery in Paper Art detail

In my two most recent paper artworks, I have implemented hand stitching directly to the canvas or on the shredded pieces of paper. New insights have arisen by exploring and combining stitching. The visual poetry of my new works are emphasized by the way my work is layered. There is something interesting to discover from far away as well as from up close. It is so exciting to keep on exploring embroidery in paper art!

Andi Arnovitz

Andi Arnovitz’s Paper Artworks

During the Tel Aviv Paper Biennale, I fell in love with “Coat of the Agunah”, an amazing work of art by artist Andi Arnovitz. It was therefore unavoidable that this blog post highlight her and her work!

Andi Arnovitz is an outstanding artist who works with ceramics, etching, silk, cotton, polyester, printed fabric, paper, wood and even fimo. Although her artworks and installations in these various art forms are intriguing and powerful, naturally I will focus on her paper artworks, as paper is my thing!

This Jerusalem based artist grew up in the surroundings of Kansas City, where her family owned a fabric store that inflamed her fascination for texture and fabrics. After graduating with a major in Graphic Design and working as a printmaker, her love for paper started for the simple reason that paper can be manipulated in so many ways: one can fold, roll, cut, sew, shred, draw and write on it.

Andi Arnovitz’s paper artworks demonstrate her exceptional talent to visually and intellectually move her audience. For her, art is a place where religion, politics and gender meet. Her artwork approaches issues that affect Jewish women on a political level.

Andi Arnovitz

For example, in her art piece “Coat of the Agunah”, currently shown at the Israeli Paper Biennale 2013, Arnovitz tears ancient Jewish marriage agreements (prints) into small strips and sews them into new arrangements, as if seeking to dismantle existing order and free Jewish women from arbitrary prohibitions. Not for nothing does she call herself a political feminist artist! She also admits that this piece probably wouldn’t have been displayed ten years ago.

During our short interview, Arnovitz emphasized that the most important part of her art is the “idea”. After the idea is born, she chooses the material that fits best in order to begin the process of hand labor. The wrapping, rolling, binding and tying motions are returning religious rituals in Judaism, and as an observant Jewish artist, Arnovitz finds it important that these motions are a recurring part of her art creation. As Jews have always been writers and recorders of religious words within paper scrolls, text also plays a role of significant importance in her art.

Arnovitz’s goal is to always raise awareness and move the viewer. She has certainly moved me. I find her an outstanding (paper) artist with an extraordinary artistic gift, whose art will hopefully keep on “opening” the eyes and minds of many!

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“ A Mother’s early Morning Prayer” by Hava Pinhas Cohen, 2012, etching and drawings digitally reproduced and laser cut, edition of 25.

Andi Arnovitz

Detail “Dress of the Sotah” 2009 Japanese rice paper, hair, dirt, film and threads

Andi Arnovitz

Left “Vest of Prayers” Japanese paper, thread and found prayer book
Right ” Tzedakah Vest”

I am happy to share with you Andi Arnovitz’s paper artworks, as well as the dates of a few of her current and upcoming exhibits:

“Flight Patterns” Atlanta- Hartsfeld International Airport April 2014
“Textile Art in Israel” Eretz Israel Museum February 2014
“Muslima: Muslim Women’s Art and Voices” International Museum of Women on-line exhibition, December 2013
“A Seat at the Table” WoCA Projects, Fort Worth, Texas December 2013
“Paper Art in Israel II” Eretz Israel Museum, September 2013
Sacred Words, Sacred Texts” Hebrew Union College, Los Angeles, through January 2014

Image courtesy Andi Arnovitz

Elise Wehle’s Paper Art interview by Paper Art View

Today “Paper Art View” celebrates the artworks and an interview with the exciting paper artist Elise Wehle. The unlimited possibilities of paper awakened an endless creativity in Wehle . In her intricate paper art Wehle using a combination of photo manipulation, paper layering and printmaking techniques to transform found imagery into her own unique works. Wehle is an expert of mixing various mediums like: embroidery, cutting patterns, weaving and folding shapes to fabricate new landscapes that are giving you the feel of forgotten treasures. Elise Wehle’s paper art inspiration lays in torn posters hanging on city walls.

Elise Wehle Girl looks back PaperArtView

Elise Wehle moth wings PaperArtView

Elise Wehle observation of leaf PaperArtView

Could you please give an introduction on yourself?
I’m originally from California, but not the typical California depicted in T.V. shows. My hometown is a smaller, desert community surrounded by rocks and sandy hills. It wasn’t exactly a cultural epicenter, and my high school rarely offered art classes beyond Drawing and Painting I. Fortunately I was accepted to Brigham Young University, and although I was pretty unprepared for their competitive art program, I had very supportive professors who helped me catch up and work hard. I graduated in 2012 with my Bachelor of Fine Arts and have been making art ever since.

What are you seeking to portray in your artworks, what’s fundamental to your process and philosophy?
Although it may not be obvious in the subject matter, technology plays a big role in my artwork. Most of my art is an excuse to spend time away from ones and zeros. I don’t hate technology, and I use it all the time, but sometimes I overdose on it which makes me pretty discontent. That’s why my work almost always involves a hand-intensive process. I love using my hands and creating something real and tangible with them. Although it initially sounds like something negative, I appreciate when my hands and fingers slightly ache after a long day of art-making. It signifies that I was connected to something real for hours on end. Paper cutting, weaving, and embroidering all give me this experience which is why I use them so much in my art.
While beauty is sometimes an unpopular word in the contemporary art world, I also want my art to be beautiful. While the concepts and ideas behind my work are crucial to it, I also hope it’s aesthetically successful. I pick subject matter that brings me joy by reminding me of the many beautiful experiences I have had in my life.

How come paper became your premium medium for your art creations? And what inspires you?
I was originally a painter, but I found painting very daunting. When I’d start a painting the blank canvas felt endless and overwhelming. There were too many possibilities, and I had no idea where to start on any of them. I had a hard time figuring out how to stretch the boundaries of what I was creating because there were no boundaries. Somewhere around this time I traveled to Italy for a few months, and I fell in love with the torn posters found on almost every urban wall. I started making collages out of them, and suddenly I felt invigorated. I loved that the material offered so many limitations. I only had what I found on the walls, and I quickly discovered that I am more creative when I have restrictions to fight against. This experience really helped me move past some of the stumbling blocks I had from painting. As I experimented with paper more, I discovered that it too offered endless possibilities like painting but in different ways that I really liked. I could do anything with it–bend it, cut it, weave it, fold it, etc. I could both add and take away from the paper. Basically, it’s a material too awesome to turn my back on, and now I get giddy every time I walk into a paper store.
I’m still really inspired by torn posters on city walls. They’re like mini-diaries, records of how weather and time have changed them. They’ve inspired the distressed, torn look that I use so often in my collages.

As a paper artist could you reveal some of the things that go into creating your intricate collages images
I usually start an artwork by finding a photograph that I really love. I then transfer the photo onto thick paper. Sometimes this is done through intaglio, a printmaking process I learned while in college, or sometimes I use gel medium and transfer the photo directly. When it comes to the latter, usually the entire photo doesn’t adhere to the paper, and it creates a distressed look. I then use a combination of punches and x-acto knives to create my paper cuts. I cut into the artwork vigorously, and once I’m finished I usually take some of the original photograph and paste it back on top of the cut out pattern. I’ll go back in with a wet cloth and carefully remove more of the paper until I feel like the composition successfully works together.

Any upcoming interesting exhibitions, events, new projects you love to share with us?
Right now I have some art in the exhibit Cut, Fold, Shred! in St. Petersburg, Florida if you’re nearby. Closer to my home, I have an exhibit titled 90 Visions 60 Days in Salt Lake City, Utah featuring a lot of my new pieces. At the beginning of next year, the San Francisco Museum of Craft and Design will feature some of my work in their show Obsessively Reductive. Hopefully some of you can stop by!

Rogan Brown - PaperArtView 1

Rogan Brown’s paper sculptures by Paper Art View

In his quest to define beauty through intricate paper sculptures, Rogan Brown in fact strives to reinvent and represent it. This UK-born, France-based artist draws his inspiration from scientific illustrations and a fascination of the natural world. Though nothing of Rogan Brown’s paper sculptures comes directly from nature, everything is transformed through his imagination and therefore bears the imprint of his subjectivity.

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Each of Brown’s works emerges after a long process of deliberation and gestation. Some of his works can take him up to five months to complete. But according to Brown, the labor-intensive process and amount of time spent on each piece are an inseparable part of its meaning.

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His choice for using paper as a premium medium happened by accident while playing in his studio with paper and a scalpel. But unlike most paper-cutting artists, who keep their work in 2D, Brown started a layering technique while remembering the 3D topographical maps from his geography lessons. He starts by cutting a layer, not the top or bottom one, but a middle one and from that the other layers develop.

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By using white paper, Brown maximizes the play of light and shadow, which are crucial elements of his sculptures. When viewed through a photographic lens, one sees each piece at a specific moment with the light at a specific angle. In reality, Brown’s pieces are never static but seem to move with the changing light of the day. This gives them a kinetic, living quality.

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It was only after having sold his first piece, that Brown was able to call himself an artist. Brown wrote me: “It’s difficult to find recognition for this art form (paper art) because it doesn’t fit conventional boundaries and we live in a global art culture which is disturbed by things that are out of the box”. I fully agree with him!

I hereby share with you some of my favorite photos of Rogan Brown’s paper sculptures, as well as the personal story behind “Kermel”, his latest work, which embraces the fascinating artistic use of paper. It will hopefully leave you, as it did me, in awe.

In my opinion, Rogan Brown has truly achieved the excellence of beauty with his paper art sculptures. I cannot wait to lay my eyes on his upcoming work, “Cornucopia”.

image courtesy by Rogan Brown

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The story about “Kernel” by Rogan Brown
Kernel is my latest piece and was inspired in part by the chestnut. I live in an isolated rural area in France in the middle of a chestnut forest. In times gone by the inhabitants of this region lived off the chestnuts, they would make flour from them and then bread. To this day it is an iconic fruit and a life-giving symbol for the people here. I love the contrast between the inside and outside of the chestnut: outside the spiky, sharp protective shell encasing inside the shiny, smooth, mahogany fruit. It is this contrast that delights: painful exterior, beautiful voluptuous interior. We see this dynamic repeated throughout nature and I wanted to capture this in Kernel.

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