For artist Lacy Barry, paper is power

Paper – the modest product that begins its life as pulp. An everyday necessity that is easily overlooked by many. But in Lacy Barry’s world, it is a material with divine potential…

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The child of a sign painter and fibre artist, Lacy Barry’s appreciation for graphic design was instilled from an early age. Her exuberant artistic practice is based on the manipulation of paper, miniatures and graphic murals, resulting in multi-dimensional decorative works.

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Barry is continuously fascinated by paper, with its surreal, limitless potential which is “ever adaptable to any idea or shape”. Combining this along with elements of the natural world, her works take the shape of wings, florals, and theatrical headpieces often used for fashion shoots and performances. Her head pieces are particularly intriguing and often show Barry’s unique vision assume different characters. They can manifest as mythical creatures that make for commanding figures, where each one connotes a different emotion and story.

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Alongside her commercial work for retail window displays for Tiffany & co. as well as stop motion animation for Clarins, Barry creates live installations, video projects, commercials, wallpaper and venue interiors. Having lived in London, Los Angeles, Montreal, New York and Berlin, Lacy has developed a global following which has also caught the attention of Charles Saatchi, where her work is also featured on the Saatchi & Saatchi website.

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Barry also merges meticulously hand crafted 3D techniques with airbrush gradients in order to “sculpt flat materials to embody realistic structures.” Enchanting though it may seem, paper craft is a real labor of love and requires a huge amount of mathematical precision and patience. Each delicate cut and fold is fundamental to the overall piece, so one wrinkle out of place and the overall aesthetic is affected. Yet still, the clean, geometric accuracy of Lacy Barry’s work is testament to her dedication to exploring the boundless possibilities of paper.

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Images by Shinya Kato