Paper makes books without which life would be a lot less interesting and enriching. Even in this digital age I still like the feel (and smell!!) of a new book. Nothing beats that excitement of physically turning the next page. Electronic books have their place, but call me old-fashioned, I still prefer actual books.
One book that I have come across recently is Edgelands by Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts. It discusses all those forgotten places, neither town or countryside – the in-between areas. These places often get overlooked when in fact they can be of great interest. The chapter on canals was interesting to me for obvious reasons; I love their description of canals as being the historical equivalent of motorways. Although used more for leisure than for transporting goods these days, the book does refer to the idea of canals as a network – ‘a set of connections between towns, cities and villages’ and how this network can be utilised today by burying fibre-optics under the towpaths. This all ties in with the underlying thread of my work – that we are all connected by lines.
Paper was also the main material for an exhibition I visited over the weekend at the Djanogly Art Gallery, Lakeside Arts Centre, Nottingham. Entitled ‘The First Cut – Paper At The Cutting Edge’ all the works in the exhibition were made from paper of one sort or another.
Some were made from plain paper, whilst others were made from books, catalogues, maps and money. I particularly liked Andrew Singleton’s ‘Stellar Spire in the Eagle Nebula’ along with work by Mia Pearlman and Andreas Kocks. The patience of the artists and the delicacy of the work – Rob Ryan’s paper cut is a case in point – is amazing. Looking round at all these wonderful works makes me want to get back to ‘hands on’ creating – at the moment I seem to have done a lot of work on the computer (Maya, Final Cut Pro) and lots of emailing and trying to source materials. I know it’s all for a good cause and the bobbin installation will look great when it’s done – I just want to get on and do it!!