Polly is a self-taught papercut artist and has been working in this medium for several years now – she has also flirted with stained glass, etching and lithography but Polly prefers papercutting.
'The challenge of telling a story with the paper whilst keeping it all in one piece is both exciting and magical, and it's so rewarding to lift a completed papercut from the cutting mat – like an intricate piece of lace.
I was ten when my grandmother gave me some Chinese papercut horses – beautifully delicate designs cut from fragile rice paper. Amazingly, I have them still and in one way they could be credited as being the inspiration for my pr esent work'.
Polly has been fascinated by paper since childhood – when her '70s collection of Snoopy stickers gradually amassed to a huge stock of all things paper – origami, handmade papers, notebooks, wrapping paper. Polly loves everything about paper – the feel of it, the huge variety of textures and colours – the boundless potential of the medium – and so far she feels that she is only just scratching the very surface.
'Each papercut begins from an idea of a narrative. Influences come from all around me – things I see and hear, books and TV. My sketchbook is a constant companion – filled with doodled ideas, sketches, words and phrases.
I might draw something which will spark an idea – and this develops in my sketch book and in my imagination until it is formed enough to begin a papercut. I then freehand draw the image full size and start cutting – although even then the story can still evolve and change whilst I marry it into the structure of the papercut until it is fully formed'.
All of Polly's papercuts are unique. She does have themes that may reoccur but every papercut is an original one-off that tells its own story. Polly sees it in her mind's eye as one narrative – but each interpretation is up to you – the viewer.
New work from Polly Finch coming soon