Maker's Details - Snell, Helen

Laser cutting exploring a range of different materials with identical pieces produced in different sizes that can be then systematically subverted.

Category: Paper
Combining the mass produced and the unique is, for me, humorous and ironical and full of suggestion and contradiction.
I am interested in the process of reproduction (printmaking, digital media, collage, photocopies) and also by the theme of reproduction (with reference to biotechnology, genetics, sex and consumerism).
Printed images and multiples enable a process of vulgarisation, undermine the obsession with originality, so that content becomes the primary concern. The repetition of the same imagery echoes our obsession with labels and brands as assurances of quality and also, paradoxically, echoes our fears provoked by images of cloning and other genetic interventions. I am especially interested in the idea of the imperfect edition. To subvert the idea of an edition is exciting and a relevant metaphor for the paradoxical relationship between group identity and individuality.  
I often take my starting point from commercial packaging nets that I customise in terms of structure and scale. Individual structures can then become units in a giant construction set, with the potential for endless configurations and reworkings according to context. 
Until my residency in laser cutting at Plymouth College of Art 2009 - 2010, all my  paper and card based pieces and installations have been hand cut. Laser cutting has allowed me to explore a range of different materials, to cut in much more detail and also to produce identical pieces in different sizes that can be then systematically subverted.


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