“My fascination with papercuts evolved from a session of cutting paper snowflakes with children about five years ago. When I realized that I was still playing with the scissors long after the children had left, I knew I had to take it a bit further. Soon I started using a cutting mat and an x-acto knife, regularly replacing the blade, but still working ordinary sheets of paper. Being a very accessible medium, papercuts are deeply rooted in folk culture around the world. In my own work I try to move away from direct representation, with often not more than the hint of a horizon or the title of a piece as a reference.
The making process is that of drawing with a knife. It is intuitive, slow, labour intensive and at times meditative. I work with ideas but without elaborate preliminary sketches and mostly not more than a single pencil line as a guide. Working freehand with a knife allows me to move away from the physicality of the line and to focus on the language of gesture, movement and form. In a way the papercuts are a continuing exploration of these elements. By making small additions over a longer period, the pieces develop organically and gain an energy of their own. ‘Mistakes’ are taken on board and become part of the final piece.
I like to keep the momentum going and try to spend some time in the studio every day, even if it is just a few minutes. Being in the studio is being away from the hectic schedule of everyday life. And even though my working process is intense, I experience this time as reinvigorating. I enjoy experimenting with the cut as a boundary between positive and negative space and to play with the contrast between foreground and background. I love the simplicity and fragile nature of papercuts and the fact that the hand of the maker can be found in every single line.”