Remember Su Blackwell’s artistic books? When I first saw them I almost fell in love; they contain two of the things I personally couldn’t live without: books and art. And lately, her art seeped even in advertising.
Photo from Wonderful Photos
She started out by cutting out characters from old books and creating dioramas. But now, Su Blackwell‘s art resides in the world of fairy-tales. She usually portrays little girls in the woods or in other vulnerable situations in order to point out the fragility of childhood. Now, if you just take a look at her works, you will certainly notice how meticulous it is. When asked how much time she spends working on a piece, Blackwell couldn’t come up with an exact answer. However, she described the process of creating her paper art:
I always read the book first, at least once or twice, and then I begin to create the work, cutting out, adding details. The detail is what brings it all together, the magic element. It is a tediously slow process.
Photos by Su Blackwell
As modern art goes, sometimes it’s difficult to put our finger on the purpose and meaning of the works, so you might be wondering about the reason for which she is irreversibly damaging books and the meaning of her works. Her motivation?
Paper has been used for communication since its invention; either between humans or in an attempt to communicate with the spirit world. I employ this delicate, accessible medium and use irreversible, destructive processes to reflect on the precariousness of the world we inhabit and the fragility of our life, dreams and ambitions.
Not only has she has taken paper art to a different level by designing paper representations of the actual book contents, but she also has a good reason for this paper mayhem besides art: she didn’t use her works only for art’s sake, she also has commercial projects in which her works of art were and are used. Many international companies and magazines have sought her to design their advertisments or covers. And let’s face it: who doesn’t enjoy a good commercial or a creative billboard?
Su’s work in Ads
Music video for Indah Dewi Pertiwi, Guava Production, Indonesia, Production Design by Su Blackwell
Pilsner Urquell Advertising Campaign
Crabtree and Evelyn, Christmas Marketing Campaign
Advertisment for the Volvo Agency Forsman & Bodenfors, Sweden
Installation at New Town Plaza, Sha Tin, Hong Kong
The Green Party, Sweden
Cover Designs for various magazines
You Inspire Magazine
Photos by Su Blackwell
As much as I would like to say that no harm should ever come to any book, I do believe that artists need to sacrifice something for the sake of art&advertising, books included. So this time, I can honestly say that it’s worth the papershed (or paper-shred) and that this UK artist is definitely on the same page as I am.