This exhibition explores the depths of our regional history and art vaults, showcasing art and artifacts that reveal the ubiquity of paper in all aspects of everyday life. In 2013, an association of paper historians announced that there are now around 20,000 uses for paper. Still, over time many have denigrated this extraordinary invention as “ordinary”. This exhibition demonstrates that paper has been central to human progress, and is a vital element within the art sphere.

Pushing Paper emphasize paper’s versatility in supporting and communicating human activity. You will see everything from clothing to wrappings, from lamps to toys, from books to stationery, and much more. Some items you will recognize from everyday use, and some items will strike you as bizarre, but all will intrigue.

Many artists have traditionally made “works on paper”: drawings, paintings, or prints made on “rag” or other types of this material. As is suggested by the exhibition title, Pushing Paper looks at artworks that extend the ways in which paper can be used in artistic expression.

Selections include elaborate cut paper work by Myriam Dion; incised and painted imagery based on botanical studies by London’s Leslie Putnam; embossing reminiscent of Art Nouveau and Art Deco by Natasha Mazurka; painstaking stop motion animation based on the miniature sculpture of Cybèle Young; and much more.

Image: Myriam Dion, Untitled, 2014, cut paper, Private Collection