Molly Blumberg (MFA 2020)
As a sculptor and papermaker, I engage handmade paper as a sculptural medium. Paper in an incredibly assertive material. As wet pulp dries, it contracts, pulls, tears, and contorts. As a membrane it asserts agency - pushing with and against an underlying skeleton. By encasing structures of altered found objects in a skin of handmade paper, I investigate how these two agents can struggle and collaborate to negotiate a form. I am interested in how this skin can articulate an underlying skeleton. The paper shrinks tightly to the armature, creating complex curves through the negative space surrounding an object. My work is a study in opposing forces, the push and pull of materials in opposition.
I am interested in strength - the strength of a seemingly delicate and innocuous material to move heavy pieces of wood and to bend a seemingly rigid structure, of the potential of a membrane to do work on its armature. And I am interested in stretch. The structure resisting the paper, the paper tightening and pulling inward - the material finds the final form.
My work involves various systems of restraint and collapse. I create both structural skeletons that will twist and bend with the drying paper to create partially imploded organic shapes, as well structures that will resist it - that will push it to its opposite potential, that will force the paper to tighten as it dries, stretched to its full potential.