Paper Magic

Trip Start Aug 18, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Sweden  , Kalmar,
Sunday, April 8, 2012

I have to first say that my photos do not do this art exhibit justice.

A painter can adjust their work with a stroke of a brush. Someone who works on a computer can press undo, someone who makes a mistake while sewing can undo a line of stitching. But an artist like Karen Bit Valejle who works with scissors on tissue paper cannot go back. That is what makes her work amazing.

Valejle uses the scissors that her mother uses with her sewing when cutting out paper. She began this as a hobby and had nowhere to keep her work, so she put them under the rug before one of her friends saw them and told her to display them.

Now her work tours galleries. The tour came to the Kalmar castle. It was incredible. The fourth photo is about seven feet tall in real life. These images can take her months or even a year to make and she uses just scissors and not a razor blade and cutting board. The exhibit had been advertised in the local paper, so Victor's mom wanted to go. Everyone else was busy, so it was only me who tagged along. The exhibit was in one room where the paper cuttings hung in-between two plates of glass so that they light could go through them. You could get up close to the art and look at the intricate detail and see if they were any rough edges or mistakes. I didn’t find any.

The images ranged from seven feet tall to about six inches tall. They filled up the room and ranged from difficult to impossible for us mere mortals to produce.

I had done some simple paper cuttings before, but of course nothing of this caliber. Some of her art was folded art, so if she folded the paper into quarters the image would take less time and be perfectly symmetrical. However, most of her work was not symmetrical and that was the incredible part. It was all so different and the larger pieces had little stories woven into the paper so everywhere you looked there was something new.

When we were done gaping at the art the museum had set up a little workstation in a small nearby room where we could try our hand at Psaligraphy. It was not easy. I create a little four sided flower and a butterfly while Victor’s mom worked on a tree with a dear standing under it.

This was by far the most interesting art exhibit I had seen in a long time. No more weird modern art that no one understands. It was simple and complex at the same time and pretty much everyone could enjoy it and get something out of it.  
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