Thursday, 28 April 2011

Featured Artist! Yvette Hawkins - PAPERFAERIE

This weekend see's the third bi-monthly Designers Marketplace in Newcastle and we have a handful of brand spanking new artists and designers selling you their wares! One new recruit, Yvette Hawkins, will be showcasing her fabulously crafted sculptures and ornaments from second hand books. These books exist as large scale installations for galleries and public art projects and also get sold as one off pieces to art lovers on etsy and folksy.

To view her larger installations visit
Or to visit her online shop go to: or

We catch up with Yvette to find out more about her work...

How long have you been an artist for? What got you into your craft?
I have always always wanted to be an artist. It was the thing I decided to do when I was about 5 and started to draw. I was completely obssessed with my brother's crayola tower, filled with felt tip pens, crayons and paints. I was never allowed to touch it, then I managed to get hold of my dad's biro's and pretty much drew on everything I could lay my hands on.

Why have you made the choice to work with paper and books?
The thing i love about paper, is the idea that something so fragile and one dimensional can become structured and sturdy just by folding it. I actually started folding books because I wanted to manipulate the way printed words can be seen, so although i have always loved to work with paper, it was mark making and print that drew me to books.

Where do you get your ideas and inspiration from?
I'm not sure. I guess they come from a variety of sources. I like to use minimal colour palettes with my installation and I am drawn to structures and forms in architecture, grids, maps and molecules and also the geometric forms found in nature, like cobwebs. I'm also inspired by repetition and the sort of work I tend to really appreciate have an awe sort of quality where I think 'how did they do that' or find a way to completely immerse the audience. Conrad Shawcross's sculptures in particular come to mind, where I really appeciate the scale and engineering aspects of creating work.

Is there something special about the books you use in your work? Do you ever come across a book you feel you shouldn't be folding and keeping for good?!
The books I use are forgotten or lost, often charity shop finds or ones Libraries can't sell off. They are also donated by people all over the country or come from second hand book shops. I like to think I am perhaps reinvigorating their lives. I would feel guilty about dismantling a treasured book (I have a bookcase full of 'not for folding' books). But the books I use don't have a special relationship with me, so I think that is okay. I stop thinking of them as books, but as objects or as my material, like clay might be to a sculptor.

Do you have any upcoming shows or projects?
I'm taking part in Craft Month at The Biscuit Factory in May. The show is called from Wood to Paper and opens on 5th May. I'm very excited about it. I'll also be making some modular origami sculptures that anyone can drop in on and make with me on 21st May 12-2pm

Any new products for your Etsy shop in the works?
I'm focusing on developing book sculptures with other languages as well as map books and graphic novels. I'm also hoping to offer my larger installations to interior design companies or as a service for people to buy for their homes. I'm also refining my book binding skills so that I can make limited edition artist books, oh and some paper cuts too. I have so many things I want to do and develop, it's hard to find the time to do everything.

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