Page 6 - Anne book

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Dr. Bogomila Welsh-Ovcharov
Anne Vilsbøll’s art is the result of intense innovative and inspi-
rational research into the hidden potential of paper as a tool for
modern means of expression. She has been acclaimed as one of
the pioneers among a number of remarkable artists who during
the past sixty years have searched to revive the lost form of the
ancient craft of papermaking as a contemporary art form.
Like the ancient scribe, or medieval apprentice she has learned
her craft with consummate devotion to artistic traditions. Her art
begins with experiments with ancient and modern papermaking
techniques which her sensibility creates into new forms, textures,
colors for her paintings, sculptures, and diverse objects.
Anne Vilsbøll ‘s art is the product of three decades of assiduous
investigation seeking to penetrate the secrets of handmade paper
based on traditions established both in the West and the East.
Extensive travels and study throughout the world have strength-
ened the artist’s resolve to provide new insight and inspiration
to the viewer about the potentials of handmade paper as an art
form. The viewer experiences in her artwork the symbiotic result
of craftsmanship and artistry as indivisible and complete. The
Renaissance artist’s employment of paper as separate supporting
medium for color, line and space has been intentionally blurred
by Anne Vilsbøll’s art. Instead, she offers an alternative and
new way to read and experience the paper work as both a pre-
conscious creative act, which is inseparable and integral with the
art of the craft of papermaking. Craftsmanship and artistry are
inseparable. It is this need for establishing the integrity of the
craft in opposition to the modern time mass industry and tech-
nology which has led her to state: “I do not think I shall ever let
go of the paper. It is essential to my work.”
Anne Vilsbøll’s art, is nothing less than kalaidascopic. Her
paintings reveal ever changing new means of communicating
her inner visions of the external world. She commences at
times with sketches based on ideas or sensations experienced
and accumulated from her many travels. She has stated: “My
thoughts are from the moon.” However her art based on
her passion of observations of the life and nature are grounded
on assiduous notes, sketches, photographs and musings which
she fles away like a fastidious librarian. At some given point
before the work takes on its own creative life, she draws from this
well of documents for ideas and inspiration for the inception of
each new artwork. From this she explains : “I deduce that I know
what it is I paint.”
She believes that the ultimate aim of the artist as creator is to
imbue life into inanimate form to extract from it living beauty
and order. Handmade paper is transformed into semblance of
“the other”, paper as trompe l’oeil acts to suggest incompat-
ible materials and objects such as metal, glass, leather, jewelry ,
embroidery, furniture etc. She invests, the natural, the inanimate
matter, the organic pulp with new and spontaneously conceived
forms derived from her experiences and impressions about the
world. She studies and annotates her sensations as she journeys
throughout the world. In the tradition of the romantic artist
Eugène Delacroix , nature is a dictionary which the artist reads
and flters through his/her imagination to recreate an inner
vision of the exterior reality. As stated in the artist’s own words,
she yearns: “To fy with the birds to build a bridge and create
order in chaos.” The artist’s role, as in the biblical metaphor
of the Creator, is to imbue life from confusion and disorder; to
breathe life by constructing order; to animate and construct from
chaos a vision of radiantly new forms expressive of metaphysical
symbols about life and nature. She asserts that: “The real world
is not enough” and acknowledges that in this way: “Perhaps my
paintings help me to seek a metaphysical world.”
The artist’s images are based on external observation which are
reassembled to include also meanings stimulated by readings
of legends; philosophical and spiritual teachings of the ancient
and modern world. Her keen eye and sensitive analysis of
different world cultures are metamorphosed into works which