Paper has got to be one of the most versatile mediums ever. You can make marks on it, dye it, cut shapes from it, and, as artist Peter Gentenaar shows, sculpt it into stunning complex forms. These images are from Gentenaar’s latest exhibition inside the Abbey church of Saint-Riquier in France. Allowing pulp to dry and shrink in unison while attached to a pre-constructed bamboo framework, Gentenaar is able to grow these organic ethereal structures.
The Dutch artist says, “Because I started out as a printmaker and sculptor, it took time to lose the idea that paper was a helpful carrier for prints or a filler for molds. Gradually I found that the single sheet of paper, which had not dried yet, had all the possibilities I needed. A paper sheet is thin and strong and can be compared to the leaf on a tree or plant. Reinforced with very thin ribs of bamboo that look like the ribs of a leaf, the analogy between the sheet of paper and the plant form is emphasized even more. By beating my pulp very long, an extraordinary play of forces occurs during the drying processes of my paper sculpture.”