The ghost parade was born from the lucky confluence of an urge and an event.
The urge had been hanging around for ages, quietly poking around in the back of my brain. For the past year or so, I’ve been trying to work larger, to give more dramatic impact to my cut paper work. I’ve also been experimenting with adding depth, using chunky blocks of wood and refining the way layers are used. On top of this, illuminating the paper, using the translucent quality to play with light and shadow and form is something I have a million tiny ideas I want to try out. (special thanks go out to Tim Budden for inspiring me with his own paper experiments).
The event was my first solo show, “The Night of the Yokai”. With the opportunity to utilize the ceiling as well as the walls, the first thing that came to mind was to create a three-dimensional cut-paper design. Through the sketch process, this evolved into a giant cut-paper chandelier (which fit nicely into my haunted, ghostly theme). The original design called for one more small ring inside. That was abandoned in time; it might have played havock with the clean shadows of the inner ring on the outer ring. Maybe in the future, I’ll play around with multiple layers.
If I had been any good at math, I think I might have been an engineer instead of a paper cutter. I love figuring out how to make things work. The real test was the frame. It’s cobbled together from items I found at the local DIY and craft stores. The added challenge of making it transportable by train – and thus easy to take apart and reassemble, was great mental exercise. Next time, I might just seek out a carpenter, though. This first experiment has given me a ton of ideas. Here’s hoping I get to watch them play out soon.
More of the Ghost Parade and other pictures from Night of the Yokai are now available on: