Kate Kato


An inter­na­tion­al exhi­bi­tion about the diver­si­ty of paper as an artist’s medium

20/01/24 – 14/04/24
Opening Times
Sun–Mon, Closed
Tue–Sat, 10:00 – 17:00
Ready-to-wear paper cloaks; polished paper ‘gemstones’; hyper realistic plant replicas; paper made from mushrooms; suits of armour folded from a single sheet of paper; stop-motion animations; and origamic architectural models are amongst work from 30 international artists on show in PULP at MAKE Southwest. The exhibition celebrates both paper in its widest uses and the undeniable innovation and skill of the artists placing this universal medium at the heart of their work.

A material with a history extending as far back as 100BCE China, paper has a multitude of uses. Through varying scales from miniature to vast, two-dimensional and three-dimensional, and from intricately detailed, exquisitely cut pieces to broad sculptural forms, PULP aims to show the huge variety of applications and techniques in use across the international world of paper-making and paper art. The exhibition reveals the ubiquitous material that is paper in a vast array of unexpected guises, featuring a selection of original works commissioned for PULP, alongside works that have featured in international exhibitions.

The exhibitors in PULP demonstrate the variety of visual effects that can be achieved from the same lowly material origin. Pippa Dyrlaga highlights paper’s innate fragility, creating organic patterns that emanate around a central tear, paying mind to the Japanese concept of kintsugi, meaning to make broken things beautiful. Lydia Jones uses a variety of paper techniques, from layered paper cutting to embossing and origami methods, to create detailed cameo portraits. While some featured artists are fascinated with highlighting the innate properties of paper within their work, others construct seemingly impossible outcomes in paper. Jeremy May creates exquisite polished paper ‘gemstone’ rings, while Layla May Arthur evokes the sensation of marble or porcelain in her gothic architectural constructions.

Additionally, paper is revealed as the perfect medium for creating lifelike replicas. Kate Kato creates intricate models of flowers, fungi, and insects, while Emma Boyes makes realistic studies of birds, remarking on the shared qualities of paper and feathers – both light, yet versatile and strong. Nathan Ward uses paper to study movement in marine mammals, and has created a fully articulated model of a whale with her calf, while Tina Kraus renders hyper realistic cuttlefish and seahorses out of paper to raise awareness about plastic pollution in our oceans. James Lake’s astonishingly detailed life-sized human sculptures, fabricated from cardboard, speak of the alienating effects of lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Paper is also key as a medium due to its qualities as an inherently sustainable material. With traditions across the globe, paper is frequently used as part of the celebrations in festivals and important events. PULP will showcase some of the many strong paper cultures from across the globe as well as history and techniques of papermaking. Running alongside this ambitious exhibition is a full and varied programme of workshops, demonstrations, and masterclasses. Further details can be found at makesouthwest.org.uk.
Kate Kato