Artist Stevi Benson’s hand cut paper pieces juxtapose the strength and fragility found in natural forms. Intricate studies of plant and animal structures connect us with their beauty, inviting us to slow down, reminding us of the meditative calm that comes with focussing on nature.
We have ten minutes to ask Benson about her practice and approach in the studio.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am working on a large piece inspired by the patterns of a microscopic cross section of plant stems and another piece which studies the growth rings of a birch tree. I usually have more than one thing on the go as each piece takes such a long time.
What is your earliest memory of art?
I'm not sure of my earliest but I remember how I felt when I first saw Salvador Dali’s Christ of St John of the cross. I was a teenager and it was hanging in St Mungo Museum of religious life and art in Glasgow at the time, it has now moved to the Kelvingrove. I was astounded and stared at it for a long time. It has such an eye bending perspective and blurs the boundaries of realism and surrealism. The power of this painting has always stayed with me and when I visit Glasgow I try and find the time to go visit it again, like an old friend.
What work of art do you wish you created?
So many. Paper wise it would be anything by Rogan Brown, his layered laser cut paper work is staggeringly good.
How do you know when a paper-cutting work is finished?
I draw it first so most of the decision making is made in the drawing process. The final cut I make is usually the edge, when I ‘release' the piece from the original sheet of paper. I find myself holding my breath when I make this cut!
What music do you play in your studio?
I listen to the radio, 6 music is my favourite station. I quite like listening to podcasts but sometimes just like to enjoy the peace and the birds singing outside.