Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wednesday Wonder: Beatrice Coron's Papercuts

Everybody's a narrator because everybody has a story to tell. 
But more important is, everybody has to make a story to make
sense of the world... Imagination is the vehicle to be transported
with but the destination is our minds, and how we can
reconnect with the essential and with the magic....
~ Artist Beatrice Coron

To see the artwork of paper cutter Beatrice Coron is to be astonished. A self-described "rebel" with a fascinating background — Coron has been a shepherdess, a truck driver, a cleaning lady, a tour guide all over the world, a marathon runner  "in training to be a long-distance papercutter" — she did not "settle" into art-making until her forties. Once she took scissors and paper, because paper is cheap, light-weight, and can be used in many different ways, she discovered how she could cut her passions for images and words into stories — not necessarily her own, she will tell you — that speak through "the language of silhouettes". 

Coron has only to take up a piece of paper to "see" the image inside it. She takes her images, she says, from cliches, from things we are thinking about, and from history, assembling them into artist's books, animations, and, more recently, functional art (her "Tell Me a Story" cut-metal sitting bench in Colorado is an example) and public art installations that are "techno-crafted" from materials such as stainless steel, aluminum,  and architectural and cut glass. Her public art includes commissions for New York City's subway system, the Chicago subway, a low-income housing reclamation project in the South Bronx, and the San Jose Public Library. 

A native of France, Coron has produced work that is in the collections of the Walker Art Center, the Getty, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Below is a recent TEDTalk (18:16 minutes long) by Coron that shows a representative sampling of her marvelous work. Coron is witty and engaging in describing her creative process, the physicality of the format she works in, and the deep and intuitive artistic sensibility she draws on to show connections among stories we all share. What she creates, whether  humorous, historical, emotional, or part of some other "mindscape" (what she calls her "Freudian cities"), is always about the power of stories, she points out, adding that everything is connected to something else but to find the connection we sometimes have to go behind or below the layers that we're made of. 

Below is the trailer for Daily Battles, an animation of Coron's work produced in 3D by Geneva Film Co.: 

Beatrice Coron on Twitter

Beatrice Coron Shop (Here, you will find available for purchase prints, limited-edition lasercuts, and a variety of objects bearing Coron's images.)


Louise Gallagher said...


Thanks so much for sharing her work and her talk -- I didn't know that about silhouette! And her spelling spider. Very cool!

I couldn't not watch her Ted Talk this morning -- she is compelling.

Kathleen Overby said...

Here is the TED link again. You are so right. Her spirit and her art is astonishing.

Maureen said...

Just tested. Both videos are working here on my post.

Thank you for the link, Kathleen.

Joyce Wycoff said...

She is a wonder ... as are you! Thanks for sharing and I just passed her along on my blog. I look forward to the movie!

Anonymous said...

i looked at the long skirt and little dress.

Laura said...

"I cut stories."

I just love that line. What amazing skill! And such a long and winding journey to find her dream. A lesson for all, such perseverance.

Maybe I haven't found my art yet...Or maybe...just maybe...I'll keep finding it with each passing day.

Celestial Dreamz said...

thanks for sharing ... loved coming here and knowing you. there's a lot to learn from your blog ...