Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Paper Art - IAPMA COngress 2018 ...

'Paper art is a modern art bred by traditions and crafts related to paper and, as the newest area in contemporary art, it blends traditions and innovations, experiments and high achievements. It challenges world authors to create a new language of expression and new technologies that enrich contemporary art.'

Sofia Paper Art Fest

Several years ago during one of my many visits to Korea I was asked if I was a member of IAPMA.I had no idea what they were talking about and as such, I almost brushed it aside until one day I decided to do some research to find  out more about this paper association.  IAPMA stands for the International Association of Hand Paper Makers and Paper Artists and when checking out the website  I was intrigued by the  work that was done  by it's members.
In a nutshell this association is an International Community of paper artists who share a common love of making and working with paper.

Two years ago now, not long after joining IAPMA, I was fortunate enough to join my first  Paper Tour in France where we spent 10 days travelling around the French countryside visiting old Paper mills and seeing demonstrations of how paper use to be made using traditional Western methods, exploring UNESCO World Heritage sites and  visiting several French Artists' studios.  It was an amazing experience and one that allowed me to gain  a wealth of knowledge about paper and also just as importantly, where new friendships of like minded  artists were formed. 

This year was the biannual IAPMA Congress - 'Paper : Conscience and Consciousness' and it was to be held in Sofia, Bulgaria so with an already planned visit to Europe, I was  able to attend.   I signed up as a participant and went along ready to be immersed in more paper culture. The exhibitions I attended were way beyond my expectations in terms of scale, diversity and standards. Many of the Congress participants had their creative work on display and  I must admit that I was blown away by what I saw. To be immersed in a community of artists at this level was extremely humbling.

'Paper Obligato' (Collage of handmade banana paper, screen printed and stitched) 2017 - Heather Mathews, AUSTRALIA

'Dinner is served' (used tea bags), 2017 - Renate Schweizer, GERMANY

'Sunyata' (Platinum Palladium Print on Obara Washi Paper) 2017 - Reji Aoyama, JAPAN

The Girl of Healing Messages' (xerox transfer, paper thread crochetted and integrated to a joomchi treatment on washi), 2017 - Carolina Larrea, CHILE

'Earth Series III' (paper pulp, banana fibre), 2016 - Eliana Anghinah, BRAZIL

The Congress enabled me to reignite  friendships with  people I'd met on the Paper Tour in France and during meal breaks and discussion sessions I also made many new friends.  Everyone was so welcoming and I received numerous  invites to visit their homes and studios, not only in Europe but all over the world. I took some of them up on their offers during our trip around Europe and those time  turned out to be very special as it cemented our friendships even further and gave me a lot of inspiration for the future on my creative journey.

I've come back to Australia with my head  spinning with ideas of what I'd like to do as far as experimenting with paper in different ways and diversifying my style of work with the traditional Hanji paper I so enjoy. 

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The 'Twists and turns' of creating .....

As much as we like to think we know what the future is going to hold for us and the creative directions we wish to take, it doesn't always turn out the way we'd like it too. Part of being creative is being open to taking new directions and being inspired by some unexpected things.  

Having moved into our little 1860s cottage 8 months ago now we've been  busy doing renovations to it and it has, for the majority of the time, been all absorbing and putting my Hanji work on hold.  The renovations are coming on nicely with many rooms now having been painted, woodwork restored, fireplaces repaired and a new kitchen installed. I have a lovely "Barn' where I can keep my Hanji  pieces, desk and a small work space but it's considerably smaller  than I've had in the past and  not big enough for having classes.  

My plan is for a much bigger Hanji studio to be built in a double garage at the end of our yard  latter this year and this will then accommodate a larger work space for myself and space for classes, storage of items and inspirational pieces.

I do miss my Hanji creating, teaching and students but for now I have to accept that they need to wait.
My first lead lighting piece
In the meantime I've taken up lead lighting as it takes up less space and I'm putting those skills to good use in the cottage. For my first piece I've been making a small window to be installed in my kitchen above the sink.  It's been an interesting process for me to go back to learning a new creative skill and realizing the frustrations involved in being a student once again as I've tried to get things to go perfectly. The lesson I've been reminded of is that when we strive for perfection,this only comes with experience. I'm not all that pleased with it when I look closely at my glass panel but when I stand back it's not too bad, and I have to remind myself that it's my first piece of lead lighting and we're always our harshest critics.

I'm looking forward to honing my skills as I do have plans for more windows to be made in the future.  I've really enjoyed this new medium of creativity where I've  been able to design, cut, and joined together glass instead of cardboard and paper and  realizing that the glass panel has a practically that many other art forms don't always achieve.

Not quite finished but testing it in the window.

Lead lighting is already making me look at ways in which  I'll be able to use this new found skill in my Hanji work in the future. It's teaching me to become a new student  going through the processes of basic learning, experiencing the frustrations of not achieving immediately whilst learning new skills and  in the long run, it should make me a better teacher.

The 'twists and turns' are taking bits of one art form and incorporating them into another art form until we end up with something that's unique to yourself and your experiences.

Isn't this what creativity is all about?

Thursday, January 4, 2018

I'm back ......

I'm back .......... Merry Christmas and a Happy 2018 to you all. 

I've taken a longer than expected break from doing Hanji and spent 2017 involved in family and household commitments but am now raring to get back into being creative once again and am committed to updating my blog more regularly this year. Last year  my main Hanji event was an exhibition called 'Dissolve' in Sydney at the Korean Cultural Centre where I was asked to take part in an exhibition along with 4 other Australian artists who have been influencd by Korean Culture.  (I'll write more about that in other post).

In the meantime keep checking back for more of my inspirations and creations for 2018 ....

It's been a while but I just have to share this ...... Bali paper making

Whilst on a holiday in Bali last week I began to wonder if anyone there did paper making.   After a lot of research I came u...