Artist of the month – Myriam Dion

Current events become timeless articles in Mryiam Dion’s intricate newspaper cuttings.

Your eyes strain for detail and open in amazement at the elaborate transformation and beautifully carved-out newspapers from Myriam Dion. She creates a new visual language to tell a story, which comments on a throwaway consumerist culture and how easily we absorb the news without giving it much thought.

I asked Myriam a few questions, to better understand her work and processes.

Can you explain your work?

“My artistic process re-values traditional craftsmanship by creating intricate and delicate representational spaces, encouraging slowness and contemplation.  In doing so, my practice contrasts with the frenetic pace of today’s consumerist society and its ephemerality…It also generates an alternative understanding of our industrialized and often conditioned society.”

“The beautifying process I operate on the newspapers’ pages intends to distract the onlooker from its usual informative function and instigate a contemplative experience instead.”

In reusing and reinvesting a means of social and political communication that are newspapers as the primary medium of my works of art, I try to redefine the use of this written support on the brink of extinction.

What’s your drive to make this type of work?

“I’ve always been attracted to the time consuming works that need attention and a lot of dexterity. During my undergraduate scholarship, my practice was leaning toward copper engraving. I think that I’ve kept these serial, thorough, slow and the old characteristics of this technique. It’s there in my work. I’m interested in various contrasts that work between the technique (cut paper) and the material (the newspaper).”

“Another contrast that I like is the fact that the fragile aspect of the cutting work develops a nice dialogue with the very often heavy content of the newspaper. A third aspect is the time that work takes and the investment I put in it versus the quality of the material. Finally I like the fact that the newspaper is a “here and now” medium and that I use a very old technique (more that 2000 years old).”

The act of cutting can look violent because it’s destructive but I’m doing a rigorous gesture that does not “wound” the paper. It’s transforming it onto this beautiful lace-like work.

How long does it take to cut out and complete your newspaper pieces?

“Everything depends on the intensity of the patterns. For a newspaper format, with very fine cuttings, I would say it takes between 2 to 3 weeks. I try to respect the limits of my body and take my time.”

What artist(s) inspire you?

“I love the work of Louise Desponts, Luanne Martineau, Anna Torma and Ed Pien. I also really appreciate the philosophy of the Art & Craft movement and William Morris (his whole work is very inspiring). I also like to draw my patterns in textiles (carpets, silk squares).”

Myriam Dion’s laced newspapers are timeless, antiquated, and above all, stunning. A throwaway media is transformed and elevated to relic, and does what it sets out to do; it makes us stop and take notice of the news that matters. And if nothing else, it’s certainly a different use for the morning paper.

Settle in and read more of Myriam’s visual newspapers by going to her website.

Myriom Dion is represented by Division Gallery

Myriam Dion

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