Friday, June 29, 2012

Sher Christopher - Paper Sculpture

Inspired by life, literature, film, and music, British artist Sher Christopher enjoys the challenge of creating solely with paper. She manages to convey complex emotions though nuanced shaping in ways that are nothing short of remarkable... for instance, this young woman whose pain is palpable.

Paper Sculpture

I emailed Sher to ask if she would tell us the story behind the piece. I think you'll be very touched, as I was, by what she wrote:

The sculpture 'Sorrow' is a very, very personal piece, an auto-biographical one. In 2009 my Mum was diagnosed with cancer, with a brain tumor, and had only a few months left to live. It was the most devastating news, I couldn't and still can't describe the impact of losing my Mum, my best friend. I'm in tears now just typing this. At the time I couldn't work; I was utterly lost.This image was a recurring one in my thoughts and dreams, and the only image that began to express how I felt.

So eventually I decided to create the image. I've had various hair colors over the years but always dream of myself with long, black hair, so she has long, black hair. The environment is empty, just functional, the way the world feels around you when your world stops turning in grief and utter loss. I think black is almost a color that gives us security in grief, we don't think about what to wear, how we look. I think I wore the same 'uniform' for months; I probably still do. The red blouse is obviously my Mum, a very intelligent, creative, passionate, funny lady, the color in my life, and the red is also the bitterness and despair at how the disease took my Mum's life.

I never intended for anyone to see the sculpture, I thought it was too private. However a couple of people who did see the sculpture seemed to be moved by it and eventually I realised that I needed support in dealing with the loss and grief. So sharing this piece was one of those steps forward. I think there are other sculptures waiting to be made, dealing with the separation of family, the isolation, the recovery, but they're still a little too painful to visit. But this sculpture has brought people into my life who perfectly understand what it is to lose someone so important to you, and for that I'm very, very grateful.

Sher created Sorrow mainly from Daler-Rowney Art papers and Kenleys tissue papers, and used no wire inside the structure. It was constructed only from paper fixed into place with a little superglue. The papers were cut with a scalpel, folded and curled using metal rods, and engineered to hold a strong, self-supporting shape. Sher says she "works mainly with heavyweight papers, heavy enough to be classed as card, but as long as it's paper, I'll work with it!"

Perhaps take a moment to visit her website where you'll find many other captivating sculptures. And if you're lucky enough to be in Dorset, UK this summer, see her work in person at the Portland 'Pop Up Dorset’ Exhibition that runs from July 21st through August.

Facebook Paper Finds this past week included:

Best ever bridesmaid requests
Quilling Celebration stop motion
Easy geometric garland
Cupcake liner carnations
Paper camera stop motion
Ethereal flax paper and bamboo sculptures

Have a lovely, creative weekend!


Maureen said...

I'm taken by how beautifully Christopher describes the meaning of "Sorrow", which has a universal quality, speaks to so much that is deeply experienced and can never be explained or understood and that, try as we might to escape it, never leaves us.

The work on her Website is marvelous.

Sandy Diaz said...

I'm speechless. The way she was able to capture such complex emotion with something as simple as paper... Remarkable! Thanks so much for sharing your story. And, Ann, thanks for another amazing find!

amrita said...

Its amazing how some people can put life in can feel the pain even if you do not know the story..thanks for sharing Ann.

komnatachista said...

I just visited Sher's website - what a delicate, sensitive touch she has! Thanks, Ann, for sharing this fine work! Karren

Ann said...

That is an amazing piece and the story behind it is so touching

SUGANTHI said...

This sculpture conveys so much emotion. We can feel the pain she must have gone through . Truly remarkable. All her sculptures on her website are captivating .She has shown movement and emotions in all her work.

Lissa (Bellenza) said...

How true it is that behind every true work of art is a genuine slice of life. Thank you for sharing Sher's story and her amazing work!

Kai said...

STUNNING! The account of her mom's passing & her grief crunched my heart. What a beautiful way to express such a dark topic as losing a person in our lives.

OneWord said...

So amazing! Thanks for sharing!

Melissa said...

Absolutely stunning. And I think it captures perfectly the grief and sorrow any person would feel with the loss of a parent. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful work of art.

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