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Stephen Sollins: Piecework, Untitled (Return to Sender) (detail)

Work / Art

Art: Paper envelopes made into traditional quilts by Stephen Sollins

These days most letters sent to me come directly from a company demanding my hard-earned pennies so I tend not to even glance at the envelopes before thrusting them (considerately) into the recycling bin. It’s not behaviour I’m proud of, and it’s certainly not behaviour Stephen Sollins would be proud of; his new projects takes paper envelopes otherwise doomed to live out their days at the bottom of a pile and makes them into gorgeous traditional quilts.

Pairing the evidence of two outmoded technologies – posting letters via snail-mail and traditional American quilt-making – Stephen creates beautiful large-scale artworks entirely from used paper envelopes, taking the otherwise unnoticed geometric shapes and patterns which line them and using them as instrumental in the way his geometric pieces fit together. The resulting artworks are extraordinary for the sheer amount of time that goes into them; pastel colours, leftover lines of cursive handwriting and patterns reminiscent of quilts belonging to grandmothers the world over all contributing to their beauty.

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Stephen Sollins: Piecework, Untitled (Postscript)

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Stephen Sollins: Piecework, Untitled (Return to Sender)

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Stephen Sollins: Piecework, Untitled (Return to Sender) (detail)

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Stephen Sollins: Piecework, Untitled (Missive)

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Stephen Sollins: Stephen Sollins: Piecework, Untitled (Missive) (detail)

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Stephen Sollins: Piecework, Untitled (Double Archive with Rotation)

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Stephen Sollins: Piecework, Untitled (Double Archive with Rotation) (detail)

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Stephen Sollins: Piecework, Untitled (Grandfather’s Garden)

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Stephen Sollins: Piecework, Untitled (Grandfather’s Garden) (detail)