This and That

Random bits of my life

Archive for October 16th, 2011

Video: Handmade Portraits: Rob Ryan

Posted by Avital Pinnick on October 16, 2011

I found a link to this video about Rob Ryan on Patricia Zapata’s blog, A Little Hut. What a lovely way to start the morning! I’ve long admired Rob Ryan’s work. Sometimes it seems as though paper cutters are like lace-makers, creating soaring flights of fancy out of the humblest materials, while receiving little recognition. Rob Ryan, who grew up in the UK and moved around a lot as a child, narrates the entire video and talks about the themes of his work, like being human and loving others.

The photography is superb, with lots of close-ups of his work. Rob often integrates text with images in a whimsical and naive style. He is currently working on a book whose characters are based on birds, “A Sky Full of Kindness.” The fairy-tale story is about overcoming fears and growing old together. I love the cutting with the husband bird singing: “All we can do is live from day to day, and I want to grow old with you until my feathers go grey and my beak wrinkles up and my wings are too weak to fly. All we can do is live from day to day.”

He has two other books in print:

If you love paper-cutting, I strongly recommend this book: Paper Cutting Book: Contemporary Artists, Timeless Craft. Rob Ryan wrote the preface and is one of the 26 artists whose work is featured (Yulia Brodskaya is also in this volume!). My copy is getting a little battered because it seems to live permanently in the pile of books that I can’t bear to put away on the bookshelves.

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