The Craft of Yulia Brodskaya

Illustration // Sunday, 25 Mar 2012
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Born in Russia and currently living in the UK, artist Yulia Brodskaya has earned an international reputation for her innovative paper illustrations. Her expertise is especially apparent in her latest piece, "Babushka," the first in a series of work that she considers to be her "declaration of love to the material and the technique," as well as an "attempt to raise the profile of this paper craft... (and) its ability to convey meaning and emotions."

 

From the artist:

 

"I believe that one of the main reasons I enjoy the paper craft, is due to my love of the material: paper. Although I've always had a special fascination for paper, it has taken me a while to find my own way of working with it; and then it took a little longer to find out that the technique I have been using so intensively is called quilling - it involves the use of strips of paper that can be rolled, shaped, and glued to the background.

 

Initially, I was concerned about the limitations of the quilling technique and the material from which the work is constructed - paper & card - as it very much dictates what can and cannot be said within the boundaries of the chosen medium. However, this material limitation turned out to be a strength for me: there is the potential to contain thoughts and ideas in unique ways so that the medium can become a significant part of the message. Thus, after working with paper quilling for over three years I am at a point where I don't feel constrained by the technical challenges of the medium; I'm eager to keep experimenting, and this piece is just a beginning.

 

It would be difficult to avoid mentioning one of the questions I am often being asked about my commercial paper works, which is, 'How long does it take'. Obviously this work took a lot longer than any of the commercial works I've done so far. In this laborious work the process has also become important: to my opinion, spending endless hours and days on a piece of work gives the suggestion of great care; not in vain the notion of 'care' is implied in the word 'to craft' itself.

 

Being a three dimensional object, the artwork offers multiple views depending on the angle of perception and the intensity and direction of lighting. These things can drastically change the visual experiences and emotional message of the same artwork. The rough snaps below should not only help to see some work in progress stages, but also demonstrate the versatility that can be achieved by playing with lighting and angles."

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