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(62) Roma McLaughlin - Arctica 2020 (SOLD)
About this Artwork:
A page from Newnes Pictorial Knowledge encyclopedia shows the painting ‘The Last Voyage of Henry Hudson’ (1881) by John Collier.
The painting refers to the story of the disappearance of Henry Hudson during his attempt to find a northwest passage sea route in 1611. Hudson never found the passage, but he was the first European explorer to navigate the Hudson River in present-day New York.
Collier’s painting depicts the harsh Arctic conditions and the indifference of the region to the plight of the lost sailors.
My first reaction to the work was to think of this remote geographic location, and to reflect on Hudson’s expedition and the beginnings of European involvement there. Since the 1600’s human endeavour has taken its toll on the Arctic landscape. Ice has melted as climatic conditions have warmed.
Currently the heavily populated city of New York is in the grip of a virus pandemic crisis. As a result of this experience, I’d like to think that we humans can transition from a conquering approach to nature to one of nurturing the natural environment. In this way we could work towards a more sustainable future for ourselves and the planet.
My papercutting technique is to cut from a single piece of paper so that forms within the image are linked. This interconnectedness together with the fragility of the paper provides a commentary on the relationship between ourselves and the natural world. My work is a meditation on the fragility of that balance.
I am a papercut artist. Currently I am working on some papercuts about the Southern Ocean of Victoria. This coastline experiences constant erosion by the sea’s dramatic tidal patterns.
With a scalpel, I cut out shapes and create lace-like patterning into paper to depict the ebb, flow and undercurrents of waves. More recently through my observations of the Southern Ocean I have become interested in the patterns of cross currents in surf. When the finished papercut is mounted in a box frame, it casts mysterious soft shadows onto the background, while the white of the paper gives the effect of light on water.
I am a member of an international group called the Paper Artist Collective.
Recently a papercut of mine was used as a demonstration in a Thames and Hudson
publication for the Victoria and Albert Museum, London for a book called
‘PaperCrafts: A Makers Guide.’ (2018)
I have exhibited in Australia and overseas.
Roma was supplied with the following page from Newnes’ Pictorial Knowledge Encyclopedia:
Newnes’ Pictorial Encyclopedia
True tales of high adventure.
The Last voyage of Henry Hudson.