First paper art exhibition opens in Cumbria showcasing the work of local artists

The Matisse and Contemporary Paper Artists Exhibition includes 35 pieces by Matisse as well as some of the best paper artists in the country. Credit: Rheged

The first paper art exhibition has opened in Cumbria, showcasing the work of Henri Matisse and some of the best paper artists in the county.

Selected in-house by the Rheged Gallery Team, it includes 35 pieces by Matisse as well as some of the best paper artists in the country.

One of the exhibitions, Drawing with Scissors, focuses on Matisse's late works from 1950-1954.

The exhibition, which is held in a dedicated room, will also feature 35 lithographic prints of the famous cut-outs produced by Henri Matisse (1869-1954) in the last four years of his life.

The exhibition was curated by the Rheged Gallery Team Credit: Rheged

Restricted to a wheelchair or his bed, Matisse took to drawing with scissors by cutting shapes out of paper which had been pre-painted with gouache by assistants. The sheets of paper were then formed into abstract or figurative shapes under his direction.

One of the most famous examples of his work is Nu bleu II (Blue Nude II), 1952.

Alongside this, visitors can expect to see 200 pieces of artworks by 42 leading British paper artists. This will include Amy Williams, a visual artist living in Kendal who won a commission for her idea of exploring Cumbria’s identity and heritage through a series of paper wigs and headwear. 

Many of the works are on sale and showcase a variety of art including animation, origami, fashion, collage, 3d sculpture and paper cuts. Credit: Rheged

It is hoped the exhibition will inspire others to make and create as they learn a paper craft skill.

Rheged’s Head of Programming, Claire Logan-Stephens said: "This is an exceptionally exciting exhibition for us.

"To be able to showcase leading Cumbrian and UK-wide paper artists alongside the genius of Henri Matisse is a true honour.

"We’re absolutely delighted to have Amy Williams back at Rheged with a truly spectacular centrepiece to the exhibition which will no doubt stimulate conversation, but more importantly, inspire visitors of all ages to have a go at paper art themselves."