Three years on from the 2018 bi-centenary of landscape gardener Humphry Repton (1752 - 1818), a trio of intricate papercut lightboxes celebrating his vision of Sheringham Park are today being reinstalled on permanent display at the Sheringham Park National Trust Visitor Centre in Norfolk. The lightboxes were originally created to feature as part of the National Trust's Repton Revealed: Illuminating his Vision at Sheringham Park light show which took place in November 2018, directed by Richard Milner, also featuring a mesmerising display of light installations by award winning arts collective Tundra.
The three lightboxes were created by Ipswich artist Loïs Cordelia, inspired by and bringing to life pages of Repton's famous leatherbound "Red Book" of Sheringham Park. Repton's 'Red Books' were richly illustrated landscaping plans that he meticulously researched, compiled and presented to his clients to help them envision their landscape's potential. Repton ingeniously included paper flaps to demonstrate 'before and after' versions of the same scene.
Loïs based her papercuts on three of Repton's original watercolour paintings of Sheringham Park, reimagining each one as an intricate, three-dimensional papercut tableau. Each layer is cut out of paper using a surgical scalpel. Illuminated from behind, every tiniest detail is apparent. A blue tinged light symbolises Sheringham's proximity to the sea, referencing his poetry. Now that the lightboxes are beng reinstalled at the Sheringham Park Visitor Centre, they can be viewed alongside the Red Book itself. Loïs says: "I'm delighted that the lightboxes are going to remain at Sheringham Park, where they belong. It seems especially appropriate that they are being reinstalled today at Winter Solstice, when we are all most in need of light. I hope visitors will enjoy seeing them as much as I enjoyed creating them three years ago."
Loïs is currently (Dec 2021) working on an exciting illuminated papercut installation for the windows of the 50/60 office building on Station Street in Cambridge, as part of the 'Window Wanderland' project. Her artwork will be on display from 6th January until 23rd January 2022. Watch this space.
The scenes depicted in Loïs's Sheringham Park lightboxes include the orangery, a windswept coastal path with a pair of hunters and their dogs, and a view of Sheringham Hall with the figure of Repton himself sitting in the foreground sketching.
Above: Repton's original watercolour from the Sheringham Park Red Book.
Below: Behind the scenes photos show Loïs's layering technique.
Windswept coastal path with a pair of hunters and their dogs
View of Sheringham Hall with the figure of Repton himself sitting in the foreground sketching
Loïs Cordelia at Sheringham Park in November 2018