Simple Card Sculptures

The following work represents a sample of the work produced by the riversMEET Art Group.

"I have made personal comments for each of the works shown, based on my impressions as both teacher and impartial observer." - Richard Gentle

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Lighting card sculpture


This [apparent] little 'building' grew in complexity quite rapidly, mirroring in sculpture, the preferred detail of Denise's style of working.

Members of the group commented on its Palestinian quality - some reminded of the 'Wailing Wall'. My own feeling was of a more war-torn Palestine, but this aside, the use of holes gives the impression of a painted, punched steel, rather than card, construction. A complexity of internal spaces is lightened by the many holes - reducing the perceived density of the materials and allowing light to pass through.

In the bottom image, torch light was shone from above and towards the front, casting shadows forward. (If the room hadn't also been illuminated by sunlight, this effect would have been considerably enhanced).

  Denise - sculpture with holes
Michelle - sculpture in the park  


This was Michelle's sculpture in the park - or was it? (Move your mouse cursor over the image).

When making small sculptures, it can be useful, as well as interesting, to place them in various locations or to use different backgrounds that can give the impression of scaling up - perhaps showing how something might look placed in a public space.

Michelle used black card with a slight sheen on one side which created a manipulated steel sheet quality that I particularly liked.


This sculpture appeared as something of a surprise at the end of the session. Caroline had spent her first hour or so producing geometric shapes with white card and it was difficult to see how it was all going to come together... and then suddenly, everything previously made vanished in the last part of the session, to be replaced by this wonderfully simple reflective piece.

The half cone shape, spreading outwards as it thrusts upwards with the tree, seems to emphasise growth towards the light of the sky, whilst the strong contrast of the coloured strip of card adds a vibrant energy, pulling the eyes back to earth and then inwards towards the reflection before being sent upwards once more.


  Caroline - reflective tree
Ann - card sculpture  


The use of loose hanging coloured sheets, behind the cut-out shapes, produces a shrine-like quality in this piece.

I particularly like the recycling of the cut-out from the lower right rectangular shape being used vertically on the left side, forming a relief, or perhaps acting as a patch - linking the two sides visually, whilst at the same time being disconnected.



Using reclaimed pieces of card, Kathy has created more of a 3-D picture than a sculpture. However, the use of figurative plant forms, in front of more abstract shapes, coupled with the quirky red spiral leaping forward from the distant background, offers a feeling of plants breaking apart and through solid rock.


  Kathy - 3-D card
Dianne - industrial card  


Whether intentional or not, the outcome of this sculpture is quite industrial looking, with a steel works, mill, or coal mine appearance. The addition of somewhat quirky doily trees, which might otherwise lesson the impact of the work, instead changes the mood to create an industrial scene that seems to encroach on a naively innocent rural landscape.

Dianne has managed to elicit strong feelings using only a few pieces of card and the choice of black, white and rusty brown - deliberate or not - works extremely well.

Simple Card Sculpture Still Life and Shadow

still Life Lit still Life Lit

Ann and Michelle

Ann and Michelle created card constructions, slotted together without adhesive. These were then illuminated to create stronger shadows than naturally available. Sketches were produced (Michelle's shown right).

There were a number of observational challenges, for although the constructions were simple, their resulting visual complexity easily confused the eye.

Michelle's drawing of still Life Lit

I think Michelle commented that it was starting to look a bit Paul Klee.

Richard - 2 minute sketch  


I also started a couple of sketches. The one on the left was done in under 2 minutes and in some ways I like it better than the first one that I'd spent more time on...

Richard - sketch one

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