The hugely talented, crisply bearded Owen Gildersleeve popped into the studio last week to deliver a copy of his new book and my word it’s a real belter. Paper Cut: An Exploration into the Contemporary World of Papercraft Art and Illustration does exactly what it says on the cover by way of showcase 25 case studies into individuals and studios working in this medium. From Rob Ryan and Chrissie Macdonald to Andersen M Studio and Le Creative Sweatshop, the subjects come from different countries and use different creative approaches to make the most of paper’s tactile qualities.
Owen – who wrote the accompanying texts himself – believes that because paper is so cheap and so easy to replace if you make mistake, working with it “leads to the ultimate freedom of artistic expression, where the artist has no boundaries or restraints.”
He goes on: “In a world that’s become saturated with faultless digital design, the importance of human interaction and its inherent imperfections has become hugely important. We want to feel a connection with the imagery we re looking at, and even if it’s just a photograph of the finished illustration, knowing that it exists as a physical artwork is hugely satisfying.”
Thanks to some great behind-the-scenes imagery of the paper artists at work, whether you’re familiar with the work or not the book is endlessly illuminating. And with Chris Clarke of The Guardian overseeing the design, it’s a fine printed experience from start to finish.