Mary Sullivan

Artist Statement

I have been working in paper since the early 1980s when I first discovered the seductive qualities of pulp made from cotton rag and Japanese Gampi. During the intervening years, I spent most of my time perfecting the methods of making high quality paper using a range of Western and Eastern paper-making techniques. Paper I made was used in a range of paper products, bookmaking projects, papercrafts and artist’s paper that incorporated cotton linters, paint pigments, plant fibers, dyes and other materials. ‘Leftovers’ became my signature and my method. In exhibitions in recent years I have explored the sculptural qualities of paper-making using layering approaches that respond to the contours of the female body. Expressive and symbolic elements are suggested through the use of embedded materials and paper sculpting methods. The range of paper making methods has also expanded to incorporate pulp spraying techniques to create large free form sheets of paper from abaca plant fiber that I’ve used to add structural elements and as ground for mounting work.

Past Portrait: Tides
Past Portrait: Elegy