English sculptor artist Richard Sweeney seems to possess a natural talent for sculpting and manipulating paper into incredible, flowing works of art. Inspired by organic structures and growth patterns in nature, and driven by curiosity to discover three-dimensional forms through the physical manipulation of material, Sweeney has a hands-on approach to creation as he utilized the unique properties of mundane materials to discover unique forms while predominantly working with paper as a sculptural medium.
The artist’s more recent work conveys movement that feels fluid, boundless, and never-ending, like a puff of smoke swirling up in the air, or a silent flap of a fish fin in the water.
The artist’s more recent work conveys movement that feels fluid, boundless, and never-ending, like a puff of smoke swirling up in the air, or a silent flap of a fish fin in the water. The new work is a step further from Sweeney’s earlier more modular and adaptive pieces, and while the sculpting work itself is as rigorously structured and time-consuming – one piece can take weeks to complete – the feeling of weightlessness is unique.
The work almost seems poetic, especially when considering the pieces are fully constructed out of a series of thoughtful folds and pleats of paper. As the monochromatic works are given their asymmetrical form through small cuts, wet creases, and little dabs of adhesive, to find their final, abstract, organic form.
Sweeney’s book Paper Sculpture: Fluid Forms offers step-by-step instruction on the techniques he himself uses in his work
Besides his own endless discovery journey through form and dimension, Sweeney shares his knowhow through lectures and workshops, as well as through his book Paper Sculpture,Fluid Forms which gives insight into Sweeney’s artistic practice and provides step-by-step examples of the paper folding techniques used in his work.
“Pliable, ephemeral, and easily manipulated with simple tools, paper is a medium with which the artist can form three-dimensional shapes quickly through precise folding and cutting. With precise information on the whys behind 3D paper sculpting and its methods, plus hundreds of stunning photos of his works, acclaimed artist and designer Richard Sweeney shows how the basic principles of form-making in paper can be useful for artists, architects, and fashion designers”.
The book is available in English, German, and French language editions.