The Burning Bush, Ancient House Gallery, Ipswich 2008
Lois Cordelia presented a major solo exhibition, consisting entirely of her silhouette paper-cut artworks, at the Ancient House Gallery, Ipswich, in the Summer of 2008.
Comments from visitors to THE BURNING BUSH July-Aug 2008:
"Fantastic and unique, far and away the most creative collection I have seen."
"So unusual - superb."
"Very beautiful, intricate work. We love it!"
"Exceptional, very nice surprise."
"Truly beautiful work!"
"Your paper-cuts suspended in the window against the light
look almost supernatural, if I may say so!"
"An amazing talent that deserves a bigger venue."
"Delicacy and strength - what a combination!"
"Inspiring and unique work. Destined to go far."
"Knockout! You have done it again, show stopper, sure detail. You amaze me."
"What patience and talent!"
"Contageous! May the Fire burn and spread!"
Silhouette art has been a part of my life since childhood, when I used to watch my mother cutting out Scherenschnitte (literally: scissor-cuts) in the traditional methods of her German homeland. I loved the stark simplicity, black and white contrasts, and precision of the technique, which appealed to the perfectionist in me.
I prefer to use a scalpel rather than scissors, because I feel it gives more control in pushing back the limits of this folk-art tradition, allowing for greater expressiveness and intricacy of perforation. I rarely create pure "silhouettes" in the true sense of the word, but the paper-cut continues to form the outline of the image, sometimes in the same way as the leading defines the pattern of shapes in a stained glass window. The technique could also be described as “paper sculpture”, in that shapes are cut away to reveal the image below, often leaving no more than a spidery web of very fine, interconnected strands, a little thicker than pencil lines.
I chose the title "The Burning Bush" because so many of the pieces are inspired by fiery or spiritual themes: the fierce intensity of a dragon, the flame colour of Autumn leaves, the phoenix bird reborn from its own ashes to symbolise the immortal soul. I enjoy working in diverse styles, but always incorporating elements of fluidity, dance and energy. I like to balance the precise cut of the blade with a much freer flowing line, and so I will often do a very rough, scribbled sketch which I then proceed to cut out with the precision of a design.
I was born in Ipswich in 1982 and attended Northgate High School, where my A-level Art teacher Mr Emery was a great inspiration, constantly challenging me with new ideas. I have also spent long periods working in London with artist and illustrator Jan Pienkowski, whose books for children often feature silhouettes. In recent years, I attended Edinburgh University to study Arabic - an apparently unrelated choice of degree subject, but one which held a deep fascination for me because of the graceful, flowing lines of the script. I also relished the challenge of learning a complex and beautiful language, with the opportunity to visit parts of the Middle East.
Since graduating in 2006, I have renewed my focus on the visual arts by holding a number of solo exhibitions in Edinburgh. In addition to silhouette art, these have featured a wide variety of media and styles, including portraits in acrylics and pastels, wildlife art, still-lifes, t-shirt designs, and sculpture. Now based once again in Ipswich, I am currently focussing on silhouette art and look forward to presenting this exhibition as a showcase of my recent work.
THE BURNING BUSH
Exhibition and Sale of Silhouette Art by Loïs Cordelia Bülow-Osborne,
Venue: The Ancient House Gallery, Buttermarket, Ipswich
Opening Times: July 21st – August 2nd, Mon-Sat 9.30am-5pm
Free Admission. All welcome. Please note: Access to the Gallery may be difficult for those who struggle with stairs, as there is regrettably no lift in this beautiful listed building.
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