Caroline Jane Harris
I'm not actually even sure how to categorize these, which strikes me a pretty good place to start: They are prints, but they're laboriously, meticulously cut to reveal the intricacies not only of the cutout forms, but of the colors, gradations and layers. This year she has begun working with more vivid hues, although still dedicated to monochromatic compositions, which in the cutting and depth of the layering really make them glow. I'm particularly attracted to some of her earlier works (as in, only two or three years ago) that stick to a greyscale palette, some of them perhaps with a hint of earth tone, but primarily in shocking black and white and a bit in between. These strike me as a brilliant way for Harris to have honed her skill; the black and white palette allows us to appreciate the unbelievable detail of the paper cutting process.
Harris explores the connection between nature and humankind, linking elements of geometry, the kaleidoscopic symmetry and branching structures such as those of trees or veins. Some of the earlier works immediately brought lightning to mind--electricity, experimentation, even a kind of Frankensteinian 'It's alive!' moment, Nikola Tesla, or one of those plasma orbs you find in science museums. Harris's works are gorgeous and unsettling, providing depth to a normally two-dimensional surface (paper) and allowing the viewer a chance to imagine what might happen if we were to come in contact with it.
The process of involves a combination of digital and manual work, combining computer design with hand-cut methods owing to the Japanese tradition of Kirigami, or paper-cutting. It is extremely time-consuming and labor-intensive, and every cut must be made with precision. The result are these astoundingly detailed, mysterious and gorgeous works.
Caroline Jane Harris lives and works in London, where Scream gallery is currently showing a solo exhibition of the artist's work through 2 August 2014. More information and examples of past work can be found at carolinejaneharris.com.