Thanks to the on-going support of Skipton International through the Skipton Art Series, the One Foundation, the Association of Jersey Charities and JEDFAS, the Jersey Arts Trust was able to keep the dialogue of paper-cutting alive through an Island-wide initiative, the ‘Paper Talks’ Project.
To kick-start the community project, Professor Qiao and Bit ran master-classes to train seven local artists in the art of paper cutting. Consequently, thanks to the ongoing support of Skipton International through the Skipton Art Series, the One Foundation, the Association of Jersey Charities and JEDFAS, the selected artists - Abi Overland, Anna Shipley, Ben Robertson, Joanna Brown, Karen Le Roy Harris, Lizi Hill and Maria Tarrant - created their own pieces of paper-cut art, and ran well over 30 workshops with 22 schools, community groups and the wider public.
As a legacy to the ‘Paper Dialogues’ exhibition, the 5,000 paper cuts created by students and the community contributed to the dialogue in the form of our very own paper-cut dragon. The Jersey ‘Paper Dragon’, a 3-D sculptural installation, suspended in the atrium of the Jersey Library between May 15th – June 30th 2017, was part of a celebratory showcase entitled ‘Paper Talks’ across different venues.
The showcase also included an exhibition documenting the project, with information, photography, film and examples of work, at the Jersey Museum Link Gallery, and an exhibition of response works created by each of the local artists involved at the Jersey Arts Centre’s Berni Gallery between May 8th – June 2nd 2017, which told the story of the process and relations that have formed as well as what had been discovered through the work. All three exhibitions were free to attend and saw thousands of visitors.
As part of a celebration of the community achievement, ArtHouse Jersey held private views of the showcases at the Berni Gallery and Jersey Library respectively, as well as a special schools visit day in May, which saw hundreds of the students who contributed paper scales to the Dragon come to the Library to see their work and hear a specially commissioned poem about dragons performed by actor and comedian The Story Beast (John-Henry Falle).
To capture the local engagement with the dragon sculpture the public were invited to post drawings, poems and messages about the ‘Jersey Dragon’ in a dragon egg post-box. We received hundreds of submissions, which were then displayed alongside the dragon in July for visitors to enjoy. We also ran a naming-competition for the Dragon with prizes, sponsored by Skipton, awarded for the two winning names in the children’s and adult categories.
In 2018 we are continuing to explore and respond to the great interest from our international partners to host the work of our Jersey artists and mark the paper talks project and legacy outside of the island.