Often working within the realm of fairy-tales and folk-lore, artist Su Blackwell cuts out images from books to create three-dimensional dioramas. Her material is important to her. Interested in both the fragility and the strength of paper, as well as the conceptual depth of old books, Blackwell finds something both accessible and precarious in her method. Believing in the power of imagination (an avid reader herself) Blackwell transforms description into a version of enchanted reality—the story becomes another translation of the story.
She says of her works, “I tend to lean towards young-girl characters, placing them in haunting, fragile settings, expressing the vulnerability of childhood, while also conveying a sense of childhood anxiety and wonder. There is a quiet melancholy in the work, depicted in the material used, and the choice of subtle colour.”
A scene caught in time, presented as if it grew out of the book itself, Blackwell’s sculptures are fantasy turned reality, which still manage to feel like fantasy. There is precision, attention to detail and a feeling of diligence present in Blackwell’s pieces each functioning to further both the illusion and the veracity. Inciting wonder, curiosity and imagination all at once, Blackwell’s sculptures are like fantastic little worlds all unto themselves that a viewer feels lucky enough to catch a glimpse of.