Saturday, April 19, 2008

Mary Sullivan

I have been working in paper since the early 1980s when I first discovered the seductive qualities of pulp made from cotton rag and Japanese Gampi. During the intervening years I spent most of my time perfecting the methods of making high quality paper using a range of Western and Eastern papermaking techniques. Paper I made was used in paper products, bookmaking projects, papercrafts and artist’s paper that incorporated cotton linters, paint pigments, plant fibers, dyes and other materials. ‘Leftovers’ became my signature and my method. In recent exhibitions I explored the sculptural qualities of paper pulp using a layering technique of formed sheets of paper that followed the contours of the female body. Expressive and symbolic elements are suggested through the use of embedded materials and paper sculpting methods. My most recent work involves pulp spraying to create very large sheets of translucent paper made from Abaca, which I have used in the installation Wood Meets Paper with the wood sculptor, Boris Curatolo.


brickie said...

you certainly are a surprise packet, I never imagined that the shy unassuming girl I grew up with was so talented and had such a sense of space and artistic flair. makes me feel very proud to kbnow you

Cathleen Kiebert-Gruen said...

The title "Wood Meets paper" is such a surprise, yet the materials fit together so naturally. I love the way the shapes defy gravity, are translucent and seem to be in motion. They are really unique and definitley provide an aesthetic experience that you feel a part of. Like walking through an unfolding set of screens, giant Japanese trays or bubbles. Really wonderful!

Cathleen Kiebert-Gruen said...

I can see how John Baldacchino would find himself inside the mind of a "nostalgic modernist" in his thoughtful yet playful essay for Wood Meets Paper.

The standards of perfection that these artists have brought this work, and their silent meanings, certainly could lay claim to a modernist kind of aesthetic.

Yet something else has been learned in all these years and these two artists have presented us with a "new" knowing. In it I see a tremendous effort that in it's egolessness, was not to serious. It allowed itself to look effortless - and so became beautiful.

I think this is very important work, we all sense it, but there's something wonderful (as John pointed out) in this age of email and blogging, not to try to say exactly what it is.

Well, I guess I'll venture to say this work is a gift.
Thank you Mary and Boris. Cathleen