The Victorian Insect pop-up books are the second in a series of self-initiated projects after completion of my graphic design studies in 2004. At this early stage of my paper engineering career I was keen to get my work out into the world and took every opportunity to develop ideas, creating new objects where possible. During this time, the Sydney art scene was alive with loads of small independent galleries who created a vibrant cultural hub that nurtured local young artists.
Story: Having always wanted a collection of gothic Victorian insects in glass boxes, I decided to create this series of small scale pop-up books to start my collection. The three individual books have hand-distressed ‘leathered’ paper covers and come housed in a custom box.
I dug up my (very green and earnest!) artist statement for the exhibition:
The Victorian Era (1837–1901) ushered in a great age of discovery and invention. Victorian scholars devoted their time to the discipline of science, collecting and the study of natural history. The impetus of the Industrial Revolution had already occurred, and during this period the full effects of industrialisation made themselves felt, heralding the mass consumer society of today.
The turn of the 21st Century has ushered in an age of similar expectation. Computing machines first conceived in the Victorian era are now commonplace and make the work of creating my ‘Paperforms’ faster and more accurate. Using digitised Victorian insect engravings and the tradition of hand-made moving books I have refocussed old techniques with a modern lens. A nostalgic gaze questioning current notions of our connection to nature.