Preview :: A4 Paper Festival

June 2nd 2011

It seems to me that paper’s glory days have been and gone. We now live in a world of paperless offices. We hear that the newspaper is dead. The paper aeroplane has been replaced by Veggie Samurai as a form of idle amusement. Paper is falling out of our lives, one sheet at a time. But perhaps the decline of paper in our everyday activities leaves space for more creative uses of the humble page.

Slicing, pasting, folding, colouring, animating, printing, sculpting and scrunching – this is the domain of The Paper Convention, a collective dedicated to ‘paper expressionism.’ This aint no kindergarten arts-and-craft class. It’s the real deal. They’re so serious about making you love paper that they’re putting on the very first A4 Paper Festival, complete with exhibitions, workshops and even lectures. I caught up with Lisa Loxley, festival director and founder of The Paper Convention, to have a chat about the event.

FBi: Why paper?

Lisa: Paper is a part of our everyday lives, although we so frequently take it for granted. The A4 Festival is an opportunity for us to celebrate paper, and really explore its hugely varied applications and uses.

Are there many artists using paper these days? Is there a paper-art community here in Sydney?

Paper is quickly growing as an artistic medium all around the world, a some-sort of a renaissance and backlash to the digital media style. Designers and artists alike are responding to paper and finding new ways to be creative with paper like never seen before – this tactile medium is becoming more unique in more ways than one. A number of the artists participating in the festival are Australian, and we have quite a strong community right under our noses!

What’s the inspiration behind the paper convention collective?

The Paper Convention is a collective of paper lovers, artists, designers, craft enthusiasts, volunteers who work with paper every day. The Collective allows us to work on larger projects as a whole, that on our own we could only dream of!

This is the first A4 Paper Festival – has it been difficult getting it all together? How has the response been so far?

The response has been amazing. Whilst there are the challenging times organising workshops, talks and lectures in conjunction with an exhibition, we’ve have had such huge support from a number of supporters and sponsors, who share the same vision!

Tell us about some of the artists involved in the event.

A particular highlight is Japanese professor and paper-artist Yoshinobu Miyamoto, who is well-renowned for his precision with 3D 60 piece spheres made entirely from paper. There are artists from the US, UK, Columbia, Japan, as well as Sydney and Melbourne including Emma van Leest, Benja Harney and emerging paper-artists TrialandError. And to support emerging artists, I received submissions from students, so that they can have their chance to participate and create a paper-based installation for the event.

Much of the programme is taking place at The Paper Mill, a paper art gallery in Angel Place. What’s its story?

The Paper Mill opened around a year ago and was started from similar initiatives as our Coll


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