Why make paper?
I’ve often been asked about the process of making paper. It’s simple in concept, take fibre and water, beat them together into a pulp then use that pulp to make paper .
The actual reality of the process is that it is intensely labour intensive, whether you make paper from recycled clothing or from plants. I’ve shared this video about making paper from beach grass because I wanted to show the steps from boiling the fibre, through to washing it, then beating it until finally you get the paper.
That’s what I’ve been doing this week. I’ve been outside in the glorious sunshine, making paper and paper pulp ready to take away with me in September to the Netherlands for the Paper Art Event at Middelste Molen in Loenen and to Iceland for my Nes artist residency at Skagaströnd, a small town in North West Iceland.
I will be transporting the dried paper pulp and reactivating it with local water. Banana paper pulp in the Netherlands and white cotton pulp made from bed linen I sourced from the flood relief donations in Townsville this year as well as from the grass pulp from continuing beach erosion events in Pottsville, Australia.
This paper pulp carries the vibration of its original, its making and the artist’s intention. A circular statement of embedded meaning. We are all connected and what happens in Iceland, with glacier melt, brings high tides and floods to Australia. I am excited to see what is produced and believe that just in the process of making this new paper, it will bring more environmental awareness to this issue which faces all of us.