Powder and Paper

This year I investigated the material intersection of folded paper and powdered charcoal. After rolling a crumpled ball of paper around my messy workspace, I was drawn to how the charcoal powder emphasized each and every crease. Inspired by the tiled pattern work of the Islamic world, I followed this experimentation by folding tessellated origami patterns and rubbing them in charcoal to bring out the hidden marks. The indexical lines created by folding make up the memory of the paper. Even after unfolding a sheet of paper, it can never return to its original state. When charcoal powder is rubbed over a crease, no matter how subtle, it emboldens the mark and pulls the viewer’s eye. Suddenly, all of the faint lines that are hardly noticeable become the subject of the work. Much like human memory, the memory of the paper can never truly be erased however faded they may become. The materiality of charcoal itself also reinforces ideas of memory and the past. When smudged, the soft transitions can make the drawing blurry, much like a fading memory. Charcoal and folded paper work together to highlight how the hidden marks of the past impact people today.