At the beginning of February I attended a three day course at West Dean College near Chichester, West Sussex entitled Cut Fold Construct. The course was led by Andy Singleton a paper artist based in Wakefield.
I love West Dean College – it’s such a lovely setting and always has such good catering. I enjoyed a walk on the first evening in the grounds where the snowdrops could be seen in the dusky half light lining the pathways interspersed with crocuses and small tiny yellow flowers that I don’t know the name of. It was almost a full moon and very atmospheric – there was no-one around so I walked along slowly singing aloud to myself – well it was a full moon!
I love playing with paper and it came as a welcome break from my enamelling, although admittedly I do cut stencils from card most days so not entirely a break! However, there was so much freedom in the course that I got to play and play and play.
We were first introduced to Andy’s work through examples that he had brought along. A lot of his current work is based around cloud formations, though he does make commercial pieces such as constructed birds and butterflies for department store window displays.
We then were split into groups of three and made a large paper cut together which we then manipulated into a 3D form.
As starting exercises Andy gave us templates of pieces from his Nebula Series which we then cut and manipulated into different formations.
We were also shown how to construct 3D objects from pieces of paper, like this example by Sarah, a full-time West Dean student studying Fine Art.
We were then given a few mini project briefs e.g. free form paper cutting and forming
and relief paper sculptures. I decided I wanted to draw into my relief to give it another dimension.
I then went a little crazy when given focussed time to play and made lots and lots of creations.
I then started to draw and cut to create some forms that I was pleased with.
I also enjoyed looking at what was left behind after the cuts and layered these up to create new images.
And with a few minutes left to go on the last day I played around with the pieces I had left.
My fellow students included a full time Fine Art student studying at West Dean called Sarah, two part-time FDAD (foundation art and design) students called Chloe and I’m afraid I’ve forgotten the other lady’s name as she was unwell after the first day and had to leave the course, a lady called Melanie (who had attended Andy’s course at West Dean three years previously) and Jack, a bookbinder. It was a small group and we were very quiet as we concentrated on our work but it was really interesting to see what everyone came up with when faced with a blank piece of paper!
This piece by Sarah was based on the sculpture she made for her end of year show last year at West Dean and a piece she was currently making in her studio which she was making with gaffer tape. One lunchtime she showed us around the full-time students studios and it was great to see the amazing spaces they have and get a feel for the place.
Melanie came to the course wanting to make a unicorn and produced this rather wonderful relief. On her previous course with Andy she had apparently made a very impressive owl. I really admired her patience as she and Andy worked out how to make the components and get it right.
Chloe spent a lot of time creating this very delicate piece using scalpel and scissors.
Jack made a great relief letter T but unfortunately I didn’t get a good picture of that, but this relief that he did shows how accurate he was with his measurements – must come along with his bookbinding skills! He spent a very long time getting his windmill just right.