Read Into It



Su Blackwell's books have more stories to tell


In the realm of fantasy stories, there has been many a tale where characters spring to life from the pages of a book. Whether in movies or the written word, it’s a theme we’ve come to expect but can always find entertaining. Su Blackwell visits that concept with her paper cutwork, using the actual book pages as the material for her scenes, and as with the tales we’ve seen or watched in other media, it’s both unexpected but still familiar. Like spontaneous pop-up books, forests, flowers and characters spring from the pages, covered in the very words we imagine brought them to life to begin with.



There’s something so fantastic about Su Blackwell’s book-based artwork. We know what books should look like, but Blackwell adds a new dimension to our expectations about the content. The delicate forms built out of the often yellowed, vintage pages seem to possess a half-life, like you need to see them before they crumble away, despite how fully realized and detailed the open-page dioramas seem. It’s this ephemeral aspect that Blackwell seeks to capture, using the constructs as symbols for the dreams and ambitions of life.



It’s all very fleeting, and melancholy in a way. Blackwell’s statement in her website says the following:

“It is the delicacy, the slight feeling of claustrophobia, as if these characters, the landscape have been trapped inside the book all this time and are now suddenly released. A number of the compositions have an urgency about them, the choices made for the cut-out people from the illustrations seem to lean towards people on their way somewhere, about to discover something, or perhaps escaping from something. And the landscapes speak of a bleak mystery, a rising, an awareness of the air.”

You can come meet Su herself as she holds a reception on October 8th at our 13th Street store, from 6 to 8 pm. And come see an actual piece of Su Blackwell’s exquisitely delicate work at the self-same location, on display throughout the month of October as part of Kate’s Paperie’s sponsorship tie-in with the Museum of Arts and Design’s Slash exhibit.

For more of Su Blackwell’s work, you can visit her website at

If you have any questions, comments or other feedback about The Tear Sheet, be sure to let us know by emailing us at

George G., Creative Director At Large, is a New York-based art director whose work spans everything from store display to interactive media. Also an accomplished artist, his illustrations have been published and exhibited in various galleries in New York. Being a self-professed design junkie, he is constantly on the lookout for what’s new and fresh in the worlds of art and design.

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