A creative process often starts with a white piece of paper, sketched on and discarded. But, what happens when you ask a group of artists to make white paper the beginning, middle and end of a creative project? Redefining Paper, initiated by James Cropper Paper, challenged eight creatives to separately explore the potential of white paper, with surprising results.
In all, the white paper has remained pure, no more so than the minimalist, ‘unroll and hang’, customisable wall clock from Leeds-based duo, Rosanna and Clint, its simplicity being a willing and brilliant surrender to the understated grandeur of the material itself. The limits of the paper are pushed in the opposite direction by Manchester contemporary jeweller, Megan Ocheduszko, whose tight spinning of a length of paper forms a wearable necklace, alongside robust, durable rings. The responses say as much about the creative mind’s response to a stark, blank canvas, as they do about the resilience and versatility of the material at hand.
Supplied with a limited amount of Porcelain, a high-quality, smooth white paper made from virgin pulp by the British master papermakers, the hand-picked creatives were given freedom to explore its material properties. The only rules were to resist colouring the paper with dyes and avoid degrading it, such as by soaking in liquid. By early-summer this year, the creatives had returned with the results, showing that the simplest ideas can do most justice to the simplest of materials.
Manchester’s rising architectural protégé, James Donegan brings digital brilliance and a steady hand with his modular sculpture of hundreds of separate, unglued components. A contemporary paper pendant lampshade from London’s Laura Nelson uses incisions more often found in metal work to subtly alter the paper in unforeseen ways. From Daniel Reed’s ethereal soundscape to Daniel Hoolahan’s laboriously cut, layered vase made from over 400 individual paper rings to Thomas Mills’ ceiling sculpture and James Condon’s mesmerising animation, the ideas and executions have demonstrated that there remains much inspiration to be found in white paper.