About Me

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Arlesey, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom
I am a cut paper artist and I live in Arlesey, Bedfordshire. I am originally from Wiltshire, from a very long village called Winterslow, just outside Salisbury. I make my work by drawing into a black piece of paper and then layering colours from behind which I cut into again. This makes very delicate and intricate paper pieces that are inspired by my love of the landscape and the natural world about me.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Mr. Winters Vanishing - shadow play at Howgills, Letchworth Garden City

Before the magical day starts....




Forty children, two artists and a composer - me, James Mayhew and Rebecca Leek - black paper, scissors, a strong light and shadows made - all mixed up with carols, music and a beautifully poetic story "Mr. Winter Vanishing" by French illustrator and writer Quitterie de Castelbajac. This was a Rhapsode event of making a play in a day to celebrate the winter Solstice. The day was Solstice day 2009.


We started the day off with simple tools - scissors and paper along with some beautiful specially written songs by Rebecca and let the day organically, creatively grow and form to result in a performance at the end of the day!   It was a truly magical experience. I have always wanted to use paper cutting to use shadows. Its a natural development of them. As soon as you hold them in your hands and see the delicacy of them and the way the light plays behind and through them - it makes them even more transitory. Their actual being seems transitory - easily broken, fragile and yet tangible. That why I think they are so beautiful when they are expressing love and thought and longings.





Howgills interior

This experience in part was out of my comfort zone. I am oddly schizophrenic... I love being with people and out in the world - but truthfully I am never happier that when I am completely alone and working in silence so I can hear the rumble of the traffic and the sound of the wind in the trees. I love the solitude. And its very meditative what I do. The cutting can be repetitive and soothing too. I like knowing what I am doing and seeing the cut appear before me.


I haven’t ever really been part of any performances. I did school plays of course... but was always one of the chorus, or hidden away somehere. I was horse mad - so riding was my thing.That too of course is off on your own or with a group, but essentially you are just in your own head.

So Solstice was many things I am not used to, even though a big part of my personality is stepping off the metaphorical cliff. You have to as an artist - people can tell if you are a phoney or if something isnt genuine. I really loved the whole experience. We were all in it together - developing our ideas, seeing what worked and what didnt. And all the individual parts grew to a beautiful whole. There was a great sense of community and togetherness and knowing that the children involved would really remember the day!






I wont ever forget it, and it makes me want to do lots more...

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