Three members of Whidbey Island Surface Design have mutiple artworks in the exhibition currently showing at Northwind Arts Center. From left to right the poster design of the show which also includes the work of Dona Anderson, Mary Ashton, Jean-Marie Tarascio and Lois James. Artwork pictured left to right: Danielle Bodine’s “Octopodocus”, Zia Gipson’s “Rainfall” and Sande Wascher-James’ “Fran’s Fan”.
“Paper Transformed” is an exhibition of the work of eight Western Washington artists who transform machine and handmade paper into artist books, sculpture, jewelry, baskets and other visual objects. Dona Anderson, Mary Ashton, Danielle Bodine, Zia Gipson, Lois James, Dorothy McGuinness, Jean-Marie Tarascio and Sande Wascher-James all use paper for its inherent infinitely malleable character not just as a substrate for traditional artists’ media. To paraphrase philosopher and communication theorist Marshall McLuhan, Paper Transformed is an exhibition where “the paper is the medium and the message”.
For these artists, paper is flexible and rigid, forgiving, shape-shifting, ubiquitous, easily stacked, bound, and collated into books, permanent (nearly) and transient, thick and thin, durable, recyclable, translucent and opaque, and gossamer thin. It can be folded, stained, painted, cast, felted, cut, torn, sewn, and woven. With paper in hand, these eight artists become sculptors, papermakers, naturalists, storytellers, printmakers, acute observers/manipulators of fiber made from cotton, linen, abaca, hemp, mulberry, mitsumata, and recycled wood pulp,
The paper work of Lois James, Zia Gipson and Danielle Bodine carries the record of cultural tradition, personal memory and story telling. Dona Anderson’s and Mary Ashton’s paper sculpture resonates with the living things which give the work its connection to nature. Jean-Marie Tarascio’s and Sande Wascher-James’ artist books celebrate paper’s long history of being used to make books. Dorothy McGuinness’s intricate paper baskets are made from richly colored and patterned paper cut with surgical precision then folded and woven into rhythmic shapes. The eight artists in “Paper Transformed” show us how paper is infinitely alterable taking the observer from the flat smooth surface we use daily to record the most mundane of life’s events to the richly textured surfaces of handmade three-dimensional objects.
Paper-related workshops are being offered by Danielle Bodine and Mary Ashton. Bodine will teach Paper Vessels July 11 and Ashton will offer Western Papermaking on July 18th and Asian Papermaking on July 19.
Other special events include a panel discussion featuring several of the artists on July 12 from 1-2 PM in the gallery followed by mini demonstrations.
Artists’ websites (in alphabetical order):
Mary Ashton maryashtonstudio.com
Dona Anderson donaart.com
Danielle Bodine nationalbasketry.org/danielle-bodine/
Zia Gipson ziagipson.com
Lois James loisjamespaper.com
Dorothy McGuinness dorothymcguinnessbasket.com
Jean-Marie Tarascio none at this time
Sande Wascher-James juvelisbooks.com