Laura Widmer


Tide: Linocut on handmade paper by Laura Widmer

Tide (Nacre),

Linocut on artist's handmade paper

22 x 30 inches

Handmade Paper

Paper as surface, material and object has fascinated me for as long as I can remember. I am certain that it is partially to blame for my interest in printmaking, as paper is the usual support material for my print-based works.

In 2014, I completed a residency at the Banff Centre and there began to focus on the idea of working “in” paper as opposed to simply working “on” it. I created my own handmade paper and began to explore its unique character and potential. As a result, I think of the page less as an anonymous flat blank support and more as a specific meeting space, the physical, three-dimensional location where idea and viewer intersect.

This way of thinking has shifted some of my more traditional print-based works into subtly sculptural explorations where the paper might read more like skin than a uniform presentation surface. In the context of these new works the printed multiple provides opportunity for repetition and iteration and underlining of an idea rather than an edition of identical original pieces.

Customized to its purpose, the paper might map a history embedded in weathered leather, shift gently to a room’s whispers, or record the evidence of its own making.

The very process of papermaking--simultaneously a cycle of destruction and construction--echoes some of the ideas of being and becoming embedded within my work.