Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Rob Ryan joins the Sisterhood!

We had an amaaaaazing Shoreditch Sisters WI meeting with the very sweet and very beardy Rob Ryan yesterday. I've been in love with this man's beautiful papercut pictures for a while now, and almost blew my lid when I found out he was going to be a guest speaker at our April meeting!

Facing an audience of adoring sisters (he loved it that he could call us 'sisters', never having had any of his own), he spoke about his love of storytelling, and how papercutting became the perfect medium through which he could tell his stories. Text has always featured heavily in his work as an essential part of the emotions he is trying to convey. Moving from drawing and painting to working in monochrome paper 'liberated' him as an artist, enabling him to interweave his text and images into one visual message.

He's clearly an emotional and thoughtful guy, and hearing him speak really made his pictures fit him as a person. Awwwww what a loverly man.

Papercutting is what he is most known for, but he sees himself predominantly as someone who likes to draw.  His designs are everywhere now, from wedding cards to editorial spreads in Vogue. He is even (as he not so subtly name-dropped) currently working on a commissioned piece for Cath Kidson. She's a lucky lady!

We got the chance to do our own papercutting of templates that Rob and his assistant had brought along, which was what all the die-hard crafters had really been waiting for! A room full of scalpel-wielding sisters set to work, and an hour later this was the result - Lovely isn't it? Thanks Rob! Oh, and he also gave us a signed picture, and there's whisperings of him contributing a piece to our FGM campaign...exciting!

You can see Rob's work on his website, buy it on etsy or see it in the flesh at his Columbia Road shop Ryantown.

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