Monochromatic Hand-Torn Paper Art - Interview with Bianca Severijns

Bianca Severijns contacted me back in November about the unusual nature-inspired art she creates with layers of hand-torn paper. Because she had recently been featured on Strictly Paper, I sent her a series of questions to bring new information to light about her work. I enjoyed reading Bianca's thoughtful responses and hope you will also.

Nesting 1 by Bianca Severijns
Nesting 1

Welcome Bianca, please tell us about yourself.

I am a Dutch-Israeli self-taught artist with an avid affection for paper. At the moment my studio, that I call Peace of Paper, is located near the city of Tel Aviv. Although a career in art didn’t happen overnight, I have always known that I would reach a point where art would become a way of living for me. I spent many years as a designer in the Netherlands where my GiBi Design partner Gil Marcus and I created children's furniture and room accessories, as well as toys and stationery for major brands.

Bianca Severijns - Leaves Gathering (detail)
Grasslands - detail

What inspires your work? 

Well, my recent work focuses on paper texture and abstract compositions. This past year I started on abstracting the essences of Earth Skins. I am awestruck by the beauty of the marks, forms, patterns, formations and diversity of (urban) nature surrounding me. I am especially intrigued by the cycle point at which there is total bareness, vulnerability, decay, and disintegration.

Inspiration Photo

Capturing these temporalities by photographing them is a source of my inspiration. Works like Leaves Gathering and Grasslands were created in my beloved paper medium within the Earth Skins series.

Bianca Severijns - Leaves Gathering Gallery 1
 Leaves Gathering

What do your recent artworks portray?

In my latest works I seek to explore the theme of displacement, and to intertwine stages of nature with the human conditions of being uprooted, nesting, enmeshment and revival. An abandoned bird nest found close to my home inspired me to create works like Nesting 1 and Nesting 2. At the present time, I am experimenting with paper vessels within the Nesting series. They are a bit side-tracking, but they inspire me to explore the 3D effect and push the limits of paper.

Nesting 2 by Bianca Severijns
Nesting 2

Tell us about your process.

I have developed my own unique artistic style based on hand-torn paper using multi-layering technique and monochrome acrylic color. Konjac, a Japanese root that I use for gluing my torn paper pieces, has the greatness of not influencing the paper quality or paint. It also enables me to develop a tapestry technique where my background canvas is totally deleted.

Paper Sketch Color

I love to make paper sketches before moving to the actual artwork. My work is labor- and time-intensive, as I tear each piece of paper by hand. The exciting thing is that during each creative process new possibilities unfold. That’s why I love working with paper!

Nesting 2  - detail 2 - by Bianca Severijns
Nesting 2 - detail

Which artwork would you like to highlight?

Uprooted by Bianca Severijns

That has to be Uprooted. As a Dutch-Israeli artist I have uprooted myself. Uprooting is painful. It makes people very vulnerable. But uprooting is also optimistic, an opportunity for growth. Whether used as a metaphor for emigration or to describe the botanical action, uprooting is a multi-layered, cyclical sequence of destruction and regeneration that I seek to investigate, blend, and reflect in my art.

Inspirational Photo

Nature Uprooted 1 by Bianca Severijns 
Uprooted inspiration

My hand-tearing technique functions as a metaphor of being torn away from all ties and belongings. The color is monochromatic white because white is free of any symbol, association or value – much the same as the uprooted feeling of no longer belonging to one’s native cultural and emotional soil.

Uprooted - detail 1 - by Bianca Severijns
 Uprooted - detail

The layered texture and monochromatic color scheme aim to capture global, regional, local, familial and personal dimensions of uprooting on one hand, while on the other hand, forming a unified holistic and humanistic theme.

Uprooted - detail 2 - by Bianca Severijns
 Uprooted - detail

What will you work on next?

After finishing my Nesting Vessels, I will move back to the Uprooted theme and prepare new color schemes for a series of three or four artworks. My ideas are plentiful, but unfortunately my chosen technique is slowing me down. My goals are to find a gallery that would be interested in representing me and be part of (paper) group exhibitions in the near future. I would like to challenge myself with a paper installation!

Nesting 1 - detail 2 - by Bianca Severijns
Nesting 1 - detail

Would you like to share some social links with All Things Paper readers?

Sure, I am always happy if paper art-lovers follow me on Instagram or Facebook. But the best way of getting to know me is by visiting my website, Bianca Severijns. Thanks All Things Paper for the interview and great opportunity of exposing my art. I really appreciate this!

Ann Martin
Ann Martin

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  1. I would love to see a video of her process. How does she get the edges on the torn pieces? They are beautiful. :)

  2. I noticed the edges too, Heather - so nice!

  3. Oh my, how delicate and meticulous...truly a labor of love.


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