isabella francesco



                               earth and water and the centre of the universe 

In this cast paper series, I playfully explore and celebrate the elemental nature of the creative process and its close connection with the body. The elements, earth and water, and the body are expressed as parallel sources of creative power.

The body is represented here by the belly: it is a simple, sensual form as well as being a physical, creative and intuitive centre.

Corn is an ancient symbol of fertility and creativity. Planted in the navel of a paper belly, one corn seed produces many, many more just as one step in the creative process leads to another and another step in that process. One season meanders into the next. And earthworms engage in their own creative process of aerating and enriching the soil as they inch their way across the paper earth belly mounds.

Changeable, unpredictable and infinitely varied, water is an element that effectively represents the emotional, creative force. The water content of the body is almost the same as the percentage of water covering this planet: we're almost two thirds water!

Organic patterns, incremental growth and fluid rhythms mimic nature - the original creative process.

I chose cast paper for its sensual and skin-like qualities. The handmade paper form has been cast by applying wet cotton pulp over a plaster mould. The wet paper is then dried for about a week with layers of wool blankets and sand-bag weights. All of these steps before I get to draw and paint!

Like earth, water and the human body, cast paper is fragile yet amazingly durable and resilient.

Each sculptural relief has been framed in either a shadow box or a plexi box.