On Fiber Art Show 2020:
Handmade Paper Collage
As a fiber Artist, I am always looking at ways to use my handmade paper in new and exciting ways; often this gives rise to collages where I can add pieces to complete the effect. When given the prompt to use patterns found in nature, I was inspired as I was looking at pictures of nerve cells. One image I saw was comparing the activity of the brain lit up on a scan, to the universe surrounded by space. The similarities were uncanny. I was engrossed in the various pictures of the neurons and how the energy and light areas showed up on the scans. I liked the idea of communication through energy and thought of how our brains “light up” when we have ideas and get inspired. The basic shapes of the cells were something that was repeated in nature and meant something to me.
I began with a large piece of paper I originally cast to be a triptych. I liked the colors and the size to represent the background of this piece. Knowing that I was basing my images on the idea of nerve cells I liked the concept of a “synapse” or space between the parts of the artwork. After looking at the images of neurons, I used the basic shape of a nerve cell with one end being the larger cell body (dendrite) and a longer connector or bridge to the other smaller end (axon). After drawing a few of them on the rough paper surface with colored pencils, I wanted to add more and make them stand out, so I cut some shapes based on the cells out of tissue paper and fastened them with Mod Podge. To me they looked a bit like fish so I grouped them with Japanese Koi fish in mind. I still wanted to make some more layered surfaces so I used yarn to stitch a humanisque dancing figure to draw the eye across the bottom of the piece, adding a sense of motion and liveliness. I liked the title of “impulse control” referring to the action of nerves being an impulse and Dancing being something that you do “impulsively”, perhaps without much control.