Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Before and After with Andrew Fyvie

Before: Newspapers... After: "Genji Monogatari"
Believe it or not, this stunning carved stone like sculpture is actually entirely made out of newspaper!

Andrew, welcome to the Daily Mouse and thank you for participating to this feature.

How do you transform simple newspaper sheets into this stone textured sculpture? Do you have a magic wand??

Well, I start with some newspapers densely screwed up to form a self-supporting core for the sculpture which I can gradually build up to create the form. The surface is then moulded from papier mâché  -  a mix of newspaper, shredded down to individual fibres, and glue - to produce a dough-like material that can be applied by hand. The black colour comes from the printing ink.

Oh, and as to the magic wand, I don't have one of those, but I do have a finely honed ability to visualise the development of a three dimensional form from nothing.

It has quite a cool name, what is it?

The name of the sculpture is 'Genji Monogatari' (The Tale of Genji) from the title of a 12th century Japanese novel about Prince Genji, a junior member of the emperor's family. I liked the idea of the figure being a human skull (viewed from the front) as well as something of a gunslinger with a touch of samurai (hence the title).

Have you ever used any other unusual materials?

I am always thinking of different materials to express ideas and have used corrugated card, re-enforced cement, beaten copper, catering tin cans, foam and recently I have even used office carpet felt. 'Houppelande' and 'The Nascent Bud of The Magnolia', both of felt, were shortlisted for competitions in 2011, the Royal Academy summer show and The Threadneedle Prize respectively.

You can see more of Andrew’s work on his website (

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