Paper Cut (relief) explores the complex subject of self-harm. Taking an issue that is both visually alarming and psychologically puzzling, the book engages with the experience of the powerless onlooker, as well as the narrative of the self-harmer. Self-harm is often the result of extreme and chronic emotional isolation and is an increasingly common coping mechanism amongst young people, as a way of dealing with these extremes of emotion. It involves a complex translation of emotional pain into its more tolerable physical equivalent. At the heart of the issue is a ‘story’ that is felt to be intolerable but untellable. The pun in the title is a very serious one - the cut, ironically, provides the painkilling relief that is sought. The title, however, also alludes to the nature of the mark-making within the book itself, which also involves the translation of emotional into physical. The book presents the cuts and scars of this translation within its pages, but leaves the solution, (the communication and thoughtful interaction that has remained so ellusive), in the hands of the reader. Through exploration and patience, the reader will discover how to translate the cuts into narrative.
Edition of 150.
Heather Weston, 2007
Offset litho on paper; blind embossing, die-cutting, cloth on board. 130 x 80mm