Does protecting the oceans have anything to do with paper? In our case the answer is yes, particularly when this material is chosen to turn the spotlight on protecting this marine space, the need to look after its species and also becomes the perfect ally to help this vulnerable ecosystem keep plastics at bay. Last June, for World Oceans Day, Guarro Casas and the Paper Artist Collective launched an initiative to afford greater visibility to these places in our planet that need to be protected and to represent their sensitive beauty.
Indeed, for this collaboration, the artists used the Greenluxe range of recycled papers, the 50% and 100% Post-Consumer Waste (PCW) versions in 120 grams. Therefore, we added sustainability to the project with a material that gives cellulose fibres a second lease of life and which, by way of added value, fully offsets its carbon footprint.
The colours used by these creators to work with are Gris Perla, Botella, Azul Oscuro, Escarlata, Óxido, Chocolate, Negro Antracita, Índigo, Amarillo Cromo, Gris Ardoise, Arena, Nature and Blanco Nieve (Pearl Grey, Bottle, Dark Blue, Scarlet, Oxide, Chocolate, Anthracyte Black, Indigo, Chrome Yellow, Ardoise Grey, Sand, Nature and Snow White). They applied the necessary processing and printing techniques depending on each job’s requirements. The result: 14 unique creations under the same concept, albeit with totally different developments and executions. You will find some examples below that demonstrate how this creativity has breathed life into the ocean beds.
Anaïs Herd Smith: a paper ocean sculpture
Paper, photography and lights, all together in one visual treat! As you can see in the first piece that we show you, this material can pack an incredible degree of realism and detail. Greenluxe’s strength, its origin and the excellent work done with its recycled fibres, it delivers the capacity to support processing such as that which is applied by the French artist Anaïs Herd Smith. With very small figures, a high level of detail, reliefs, 3D structures, special paint and a to-scale composition she created a sculpture on a human being.
“I depicted the fragile link between man and the underwater environment. Today, we are helping coral to recover from the damage we have done to it. A tribute to the fantastic colours of the mysterious underwater world”, in the artist’s own words.
Besides the impressive figure created, which can actually be worn by a model, the painting chosen shines under UV light: a vivid fluorescent call to action for coral reefs that are crying out for help. This creation by Anaïs Herd Smith shows how paper can even be a part of art.
Sarah Suplina: layered composition
This paper artist is another one of the creators who joined this action together with the Paper Artist Collective and whose collages offer fragments that capture the beauty of life. To depict ocean life, Sarah Suplina populated the entire surface of our planet Earth with the creatures that dwell in the sea depths. Finely-detailed model fish, coloured coral and algae of all sizes, all brought together thanks to overlays and with only a hint of glue. The speeded-up version of the detailed assembly of thework is a treat for the eyes.
Maria Cruz: depth and folds that plunge us into the ocean
There are some creations which, despite using a 2D material, virtually recreate a scenario that you can literally delve into thanks to the way they are processed and folded. This is what the artist Maria Cruz has achieved by working with the Greenluxe paper. Drawing inspiration from the eagle ray, she ushers us down to the ocean depths.
Besides the mysterious print of the fish that inhabits this paper world, the positioning of paper structures at different distances from the observer and the use of light folds in the paper to give it form and dimension help the observer to feel they are actually a part of the seabed at that very moment. And all that with a mere five colours from the PCW gamut: Azul Oscuro, Índigo, Amarillo Cromo, Blanco Nieve and Gris Perla (Dark Blue, Indigo, Chrome Yellow, Snow White and Pearl Grey); all in 120 grams.
Annemarieke Kloosterhof: scenography on paper
Finally, while all the creations of the PAC World Oceans Day collaboration would deserve to be analysed by dint of their diversity and creativity utilising the same basic resources, in this case we would like to focus a bit more closely on the proposal by Annemarieke Kloosterhof, a London-based multidisciplinary and paper stage set designer who originally hails from the Netherlands. Indeed, her ocean representation for the action is a perfect reflection of her talent in different areas, which she combined with the expertise of the still-life photographer Nick Dunne.
“We experimented with tspecial lighting techniques, imitating the way the sunlight is reflected on the rolling ocean waves and how it lights up the sea world beneath”, said the artist. She accomplishes this through her painstaking work with paper to create total 3D forms, although she expands the scope and reach of this scenario by using three mirrors at the centre of the composition.
The entire 15 cm-high assembly was cut, pasted and hand-assembled. “The mirrors reflect only a small part of the remaining coral reef, and the surrounding expanse of water shows us just how much of the ocean depths remain to be explored”, says Kloosterhof.