Monday, 19 July 2010

The life of paper

"Paper is a magical material.  It's thousand faces have the power to attract and enchant us, to direct our lives and change their course, to teach us, to influence our opinion, and to mark our daily existence.

From our youngest years, paper helps us to create our individual versions of beauty - small, clumsy fingers transform sheets of coloured paper into trees, misshapen pieces of fruit or fantastical beasts.  And by making paper into new shapes and covering its many surfaces with colours, drawings, numbers, letters and symbols, we finally learn how to master it.

Notepaper, newspaper, wallpaper, rice-paper, and papier-mache.......Paper, born thousands of years ago of papyrus plant, does not shy from pseudonyms, hiding behind such noms de plume as vellum, Holland, Indian, peau de cygne and parchment.  Tucked into envelopes, it is paper that holds our most tender thoughts and fiery messages.  It has taken the place of our ancestors' silver; paper stokes the greed of forgers, misers and conquerors of every stripe.

And while paper is pleasing to the eye, and proud of being useful, it is just as charming to the ear. 

Paper crackles and trembles.  It whispers and rustles.  When you brush against it, it swishes like and ingenue's silk dress.  And when flames lick around it, it snaps and sizzles and dies with a nearly inaudible whisper."

I love the language in this description of paper.  It's an extract from a book about the work of Isabelle de Borchgrave, featured in the May/June edition of Selvedge magazine.  It perfectly evokes our entwinement with paper and it's journey with us through life.  My studio is swimming with paper off cuts, stretched paper on boards, piles of long overdue filing and offerings from the small people in my life, like this from Rosemary who drew me a picture of Wilma and Shaggy getting married (hence Wilma has removed her glasses).  Thanks Rosemary. x

By Rosemary

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...