The First Cut


I went to a really interesting exhibition yesterday at the Manchester Art Gallery. The First Cut is an international show of artists who “cut, sculpt and manipulate paper”. From their website, then:

Wonder at giant sculptures inspired by far away galaxies that spiral from the wall, explore a walk-through forest of paper trees and marvel at miniature worlds that explode from vintage staple boxes or emerge from the page of a book.

Flocks of birds and butterflies cut from maps appear alongside artworks that feature dark fairytale imagery. Guns and grenades fashioned from paper currency and sinister silhouettes comment on social, political and economic issues.

There was work on display from Abigail Reynolds (whose Mount Fear piece I’ve used as one of the banner images on this blog), Justine Smith (on power, money, and ‘illusion’), Susan Stockwell (some stunning map and dress pieces), Elisabeth Lecourt (again, some great map/dress pieces), Claire Brewster (more paper map art!), Andy Singleton (with some swirling, brewing cloud formations) and many more (complete list here).

Paper art can be a little twee. There certainly was that aspect. Art made for birthday cards. Although there were plenty of political pieces that made altogether different statements.

It’s on until Sunday 27th January 2013. The images above are from Elisabeth Lecourt’s Les robes géographiques project.

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