For our 2019 show at Sea Star Winery, Andrea Spalding, Joseph Montague, and I chose the theme “Behind the Seen”. I wanted to work with my collection of washi (Japanese handmade papers) and began to play with the idea of screens — what is hidden, and what is revealed. My hanging screens are intended to “float” in windows so that the light comes through the paper and reveals the beautiful textures. And just as traditional Japanese shoji screens slide open to let the “outside in”, I wanted the screens to have openings which would also allow the viewer to see beyond.
Making the screens was a very meditative process, and I have had many people comment that they have a very peaceful ambiance.
Just a note about washi: the word literally translates as “Japanese paper”. Washi is NOT “rice paper”, but is made from fibres of kozo (paper mulberry), mitsumata, or gampi. All three of these plants once grew wild and plentifully in Japan. Now, kozo and mitsumata are farmed. The gampi tree is vanishing.
The art of making washi in the traditional way is no longer widely practiced. But Japanese culture holds a reverence for handmade paper; more and more Western artists are beginning to share that passion, as do I.
Please click on the images for more information.