Intersections: The Art and Science of Folded Paper

By: Lasley Cash, Staff WriterFeatured image

Rebecca Gieseking, Furman alumnus ‘09, is honored to showcase her artwork for this year’s Homecoming art show. Gieseking’s work, which is currently being exhibited in the Thompson Art Gallery, illustrates her artistry and mastery of origami. The exhibit contains pieces from three of the artist’s series, including “Intersections,” “Diagonal Shift,” and a new series she crafted specifically for this show. In total, she has 16 pieces on display and six crease patterns, two from each series.

The new series Gieseking crafted specifically for the exhibit comprises the four largest and most intricately made pieces in her exhibit. To create these four large-scale pieces, Gieseking used almost an entire sheet of Elephant Hide paper, with her finished work standing almost 20 inches tall. The pieces incorporate diagonal elements and much brighter colors on top of the traditional black and white colorway. Gieseking hand-painted each piece using several layers of acrylic paint to get the specific value and hue she desired. For each piece, Gieseking added a bit of texture to the paint. All of her painting was completed before she began the folding process.

The artist was particularly excited about her series because after having worked with primarily neutral materials for the past two years, she was ready to craft brightly-colored material. Along with several of her origami designs, Gieseking includes her crease patterns, which illustrate both the artistic side of her work and the mathematical/ engineering side of her art. The patterns exhibited were printed on the actual size of the paper she used to fold her pieces. They are all newly drawn are the first crease patterns she has made for full models.

In the artist’s “Diagonal Shift” series, Gieseking specifically focused on creating pieces with an illusion of impossibility. The pieces in this series can be distinguished by their dramatic separation of pieces and vast differences between the slopes of their horizontal and diagonal lines. All of the pieces are unique in the fact that they create the illusion that the top half of the vase balances on the tip of the lower half. Each piece incorporates subtle color differences, which add an element of interest by their color contrast. Most notably from the series, was Gieseking’s ability to incorporate intricate geometric techniques into three dimensional forms.

Finally, Gieseking’s “Intersections” series illustrates the artist’s designs from work with a flat plane model. What distinguishes these pieces are their clean and intricate folding techniques and the tightly-bound folds in their papers. For this series, particularly in Gieseking’s multi-piece models, she had to create sharp, concave folds at 90 degree turns, which required the use of scoring, precision, and mathematics.

Overall, what makes Gieseking’s work particularly appealing to audiences is their ability to be viewed from a variety of angles. Illustrating the relationships between shapes at different levels, the pieces show off the opportunities laden in three-dimensional forms.

The artist’s exhibit will be shown through Oct. 25 in Thompson Art Gallery. Gieseking will be present at her exhibit Oct. 25, giving viewers an opportunity to hear her discuss her work in depth, ask questions, and learn more about the art and science of folding paper.

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