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22 Mar, 2022 —  10 May, 2022

Glisten 2 : A book and Box. 40 pages, translucent pages, collaged, pierced and punched; Covers of waxed collage, and exposed spine with featured thread work Size 17.3 x 13cm Brown wrapping paper as a base for the waxed or ‘encaustic’ collage on the surface of the box and book. For this technique, thin paper is laid down using hot wax and an iron. Shapes are built up, burnished and polished. They might be overlaid, etched or carved. The paper for the pages is made by pasting together two layers of very thin abaca tissue – a strong long fibred tissue, often used to make tea bags. This paper lamination is seemingly fragile and translucent. Between the two layers are placed fragments. Those of the same paper will add an opaque contrast to the thin translucent paper. Some are precious foils – gold, silver, white gold, copper, while some silver and gold shapes which seem as bright are fake – not metal at all, but gold irridescent pigment dissolved in an acrylic medium. As the pages are turned, parts of these catch the light. The pages are also pierced and punched, adding to the tactile quality. These marks interact with the inserted marks within the page. My technique of making a laminated collage is one of pasting one or more sheets of tissue on a plastic table. Sometimes I add a layer of silk. Fragments of paper, threads then can be placed into the wet paste, then another sheet of tissue is laid on top, pressed lightly down and allowed to dry naturally. The result is a highly tactile surface. The insertions become raised and appear to have been adhered top of the surface rather than inside. Once dry the paper is peeled from the table. In this way, it differs from a traditional collage, which is glued to a permanent support. I developed this process during the late 1990’s while exploring different papermaking methods.I was impressed by a Japanese layering technique of pasting of paper and fabric together, as a way of strengthening their large scrolls. I often use the laminated paper as a substrate for print – working with digital image, printing with inkjet pigment inks. Glisten 2 differs in that it celebrates the quality of the paper itself. When precious metal foils are used the technique becomes more complicated. The foil has to be first laid on a separate sheet of tissue, which provides it with support when laid in wet paste. It has to be dried before being cut into shapes and added to the wet paste of the collage. Then a protective thin final layer pasted over very carefully so that the gold is not disturbed. The metal is slightly diffused by the paper, but because the top layer is fine (10gsm) it can still be seen.

Glisten 2 is a celebration of paper. There is no text or image, only the sheer enjoyment of looking and touching the paper itself. The box is not a box to hide away but to display as an intriguing and tactile object, which invites you to look inside, to touch the layers of papers of irridescent gold pigment which make up the cover. Open the book to view the seemingly fragile and translucent textured pages, with glimpses of precious metal foils. In this way, looking becomes a game – which is the real gold, which fake – and does it matter? My experiments with precious foils, in find a way of laying pieces down successfully using cellulose paste were not always successful. In the end I could only make enough paper for two books. I made a first ‘Glisten’ book, Glisten 1, in response to a call for a touring exhibition organised by IAPMA, (International papermakers and paper artists). The theme was ‘Luminous Within’ I hit on the idea of a subdued dark outer cover and box – a shell – with something translucent, precious and fragile within. Only the papers used are the same, the books are quite different. When book one went off on tour for six months, I continued to let the idea evolve into for the second book. I have always been impressed by the Japanese approach to materials and to the respect they give their artworks. The way they wrap, box and present objects. I saw a wonderful touring exhibition of Japanese textiles in 2001. (Textural Space) I realised that everything rolled or folded. It was moment of revelation to me. My books folded, so why not use the same approach on large wall based artworks?I began to research different methods of designing large paper pieces in sections. Since then, I have been able to send work to exhibitions all over the world. All my paper artworks fold. Larger pieces are designed in sections, smaller ones as books.

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A celebration of paper -there is no text or image, only the sheer enjoyment of looking and touching the paper itself