Paper Sculpture by Sher Christopher

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:

Quilling Celebration stop motion
Cupcake liner carnations
Paper camera stop motion
Ethereal flax paper and bamboo sculptures

Have a lovely, creative weekend!

Ann Martin
Ann Martin

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