London-born and Edinburgh-based artist Callum Russell, having only recently graduated with first-class honours from Edinburgh College of Art, is breaking the urban art mould by combining his passion for contemporary art and unique eye with one of the world’s most ancient and venerated art forms. Armed with a scalpel and a steady hand, Russell finds and exposes the delicate and nuanced battleground between light and dark in everyday scenes. From renowned architectural forms like New York’s Guggenheim to a graffiti covered doorway in Brick Lane, all are equal under Russell’s knife, and all are subject to what he refers to as his ‘reductive violent process’.
When discussing his work, Russell refers to the litany of countries and era’s where papercutting was an integral artistic movement in their culture. Mexican papel-picado (translated directly as ‘confetti’), German Scherenschnitte, and traditional Chinese red paper cutting (jiǎnzhǐ 剪纸 tracing back to 3 BC) all have their place in Russell’s interpretation of the paper cut technique. However, what sets Russell’s paper-cuts aside are perhaps not even his intricate and painstakingly perfected techniques, but his appropriation of an art form designed to create decorative, celebratory pieces. Russell’s pieces don’t fulfil a practical decorative purpose like more traditional papercuts, instead they themselves are celebrations of the dance of light and dark, unseen compositions in everyday scenes. Nor does he use brightly coloured papers as you might see in Mexican or Chinese paper cuts, but consistently starts with a sheet of black paper, introducing light with his own hand through a series of delicate and precise incisions.
This Summer, Nelly Duff will be showcasing not only Russel’s original pieces, but also new and exclusive printed limited editions – so join us this July to immerse yourselves into Russell’s precise and perfect monochromatic world.
A new show from Callum Russell
Thursday 4th Jul 2019
156 Columbia Rd,
4th – 11th Jul 2019
156 Columbia Rd,