PaperShift was set up after hosting a short Residency in the Moray Art Centre in Scotland with Drew Mattott and Margaret Mahan of the US- based Peace Paper Project.
Learning to make paper produces satisfying results which can form the basis of books, drawings, prints and objects. It also offers an opportunity to reflect, work out and rewrite old stories into positive new ones – giving special therapeutic benefits for anyone who has lived, or is living, in difficult times.
Significant fabrics and clothing become transformed into works of art, opening up insight into difficult experiences and building new understanding, forgiveness and meaning.
Transformational Papermaking – A Brief History
The original initiative, ‘Combat Paper’, started as a partnership between artists and US war veterans who, in shredding and pulping their service uniforms, were able directly to bring forth a medium – paper – that was readily accessible to being formed, printed or written on, processing and transforming difficult experiences and memories.
Building on Combat Paper’s many positive results, the ‘Peace Paper’ team now travels around the US and elsewhere around the world engaging a broad range of participants coping with trauma including ex-servicemen and women, victims of domestic or sexual abuse, and family issues such as separation or care responsibilities, and importantly, seeks to enact this activity within the local community facilitating discussions around the wider issues involved.