ode boutique

Artist Interview

Erin McNally / 2012

July 1, 2012

Sage storyteller by nature, Erin McNally has volumes to tell us about the connectedness of art and nature, travels and insight. She endlessly inspires us with her self-taught ability to manipulate various mediums - metal, leather, paper - into beautiful, sculptural (and some wearable!) pieces of art. Find her papercuts and jewelry at Bazaar, Friday, July 13th from 6-8.

Photo by Beth Maciorowski

Can you tell us what it is you make?
I am a paper cut artist. Using a single sheet of paper and a fine blade I carve images based primarily on photo's or photo realistic drawings. With each piece I am challenged to work out the puzzle of form, maintaining that each line connects to literally hold the image together. I also design jewelry, often working with the patterns and shapes I see frequently repeated in my papercuts. I work with metal, leather and rubber, striving to find surprising ways to manipulate the material to resemble other materials or forms found in nature.

What is your dream project?
My artwork has a lot of potential to manipulate the space around it,  namely through the interplay of light and negative space. I would love to have space to create a simplistic but large scale shadow installation with my paper cuts.

If you were a piece of clothing what would it be and what color/pattern?
I tend to have a difficult time narrowing down to favorites or expletives. I'd probably be a well worn cotton T-shirt or a good pair of jeans that is just the right wash of dark blue. I love fashion but I usually fall back on basic and classic so that probably best describes me.

What is your go-to "happy" song?
My "happy" song changes often. "This Must Be the Place" by the Talking Heads usually puts me in a good mood!

Show us a photo that inspires you, and tell us why.
I took this it in the Subway in NYC. It is the tar on the platform. More and more as I work with images in my art I see this kind of pattern repeated. It is in nature, plant and animal vascular systems, rivers, birds nests, broken windows, peeling paint, and here, on the pavement. It has a shape of function as well as of decay and destruction.