Karen is a graduate of West Surrey College of Art and Design, where she studied ceramics and animation. She has spent most of her professional life in the animation and TV industry and it was at a TV market in Hong Kong that she first encountered paper cutting. Fascinated by its intricate delicacy, she began to experiment with her own cuts. Initially inspired by the folk art and traditional motifs of early European paper cuts, she began to explore landscapes and other subjects. Inspired by extreme paper artists such as Chris Natrop, she wanted to try ‘sketching’ with a scalpel. The results are cut images that are partly pre-drawn and partly free hand.
“I sketch a subject and use my drawings to create the ‘bones’ of a paper cut design, then I start cutting, adding freehand details with the knife as I go. It’s a slow process and for someone who is always in a hurry, an odd choice of medium! But I enjoy the way the image develops and love the strange combination of shadow and texture the cut edges give.”
She creates hand cut pieces and limited-edition laser cuts, these are taken from the original cut pieces and finished by hand so that each one is unique. They are mounted with a shadow gap to exaggerate the cut-out form or on coloured card or metal leaf backgrounds.
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