We’ve featured some amazing artists who work with paper, here on the Business Optimizer blog, including numerous Origami masters. The folded paper creations of Polly Verity, however, take the art of paper folding in a completely new, intimate and sensuous direction.
When you look at the artwork of Polly Verity, you can’t help but wonder: how did that artwork come from a flat sheet of paper?
Polly Verity is a Welsh artist who lives in a pretty village surrounded by the green fields of Carmarthenshire, West Wales, UK. The daughter of two artists, Polly grew up in an environment in which plenty of art materials always lay to hand.
She credits amongst her influences a book by her step-grandfather, published in the UK in 1968, called “Your Book of Paper Folding”. The book, an introduction to the art of origami, ignited a passion for the discipline in Polly.
After attending several of the OUSA origami conventions in New York in the early 2000s, where she met like-minded artists from around the world, Polly continued to develop her craft.
Purely by folding, Polly creates three-dimensional geometric repeat patterns in paper. Her designs have inspired dresses, performances and photoshoots and have appeared in international exhibitions, including in Mujeres de Papel at the Origami Museum in Zaragoza, Spain, and in Origami Universe at the Chimei Museum in Taiwan.
“I find the whole process of working in the paper, of designing and then, especially, the folding amazingly calming,” Polly said in a BBC Wales documentary about her work. “I love working with paper because it is so tactile… The feel – how it feels in your hands – is just so lovely.”
Some of her most striking artworks feature facial silhouettes, fragmented torsos and voluptuous limbs. Polly chooses folds that are particularly photogenic and dramatic when light (particularly a side, raking light) hits one of the pieces. Polly usually works in a white paper so there are no distractions for the eye in the medium itself and the white paper shows off the sharp form to best advantage.
“I work in the moment, perhaps imparting an initial deep crease in the paper, taken by the whim of the moment and open to any form that begins to suggest itself,” the artist told Colossal magazine. “I work with the paper, gently exaggerating a hint of form or gently working an area until a form feels sure and authentic.”
The choice of medium has been fundamental to the development of Polly’s style. “Very subtle chances can make huge amounts of difference down the line,” Polly told the Guardian. “I allow the paper to inform what I’m doing. You can only fold the paper, you can’t stretch it out. And that limitation is frustrating, but it’s also the joy of working with it.”
Polly’s work is available to view in more detail (and purchase) on her website: https://polyscene.com/