I’ve finally completed the first layer of paper cutting for Cadillac, the latest in the Structured Chaos series by myself and Ben Honebone. This is a unique and strange paper cut in comparison to previous pieces in the series. Usually I work to some sort of random internal process in attempting to create something different; to build a chaos into the structure of the artwork. This time is completely different in that I have used a reference picture to create the imagery you see here.
Using a reference is new to me and I always wondered whether it would create the random and chaotic outcome that is inherent in this series. Ben and I discussed this and decided that it still fulfills the criteria that we set ourselves. The element of chance is still there because I am drawing nothing before cutting, and also the reference picture is far more detailed than I can possibly cut using my scalpel. The reference itself is created by a complex method which relies on a Deep Dream generator to modify and alter the original source photograph provided by Ben.
The result here is intoxicating. It draws you into an imagined landscape rich with symbols and oddly recognizable features. Here alien creatures roam ploughed fields connected to a sailboat skyline by uncanny vehicles and unfamiliar buildings. My eye is always drawn to the figure on the right. He is almost estranged from this world. I’m not sure yet whether he is threatened by this strange place or if he finds solace in this imaginary realm.
But all this is irrelevant. This is a work in progress and no more. Nothing can be read into this image because there is nothing here that needs to be read. These are marks on the paper and nothing more.