Paper Talks

October 2016 saw the opening of the hugely successful ‘Paper Dialogues - the Dragon and our Stories’ exhibition at St. Helier Town Hall. The exhibition was a collection of stunning paper-cut art by Professor Xiaoguang Qiao from China and Norwegian artist Karen Bit Vejle, who were invited to the Island by Jersey Arts Trust. The work comprised a 9 meter long paper-cut dragon and 7 dragon eggs – a collaboration that told the story of Xiaoguang Qiao and Karen Bit Vejle’s quest in search of dragons. The exhibition ran for two weeks, during which time over 5,000 visitors including 600 students came to see the work.

But the dialogue has only just begun…

During their time in Jersey, Professor Xiaoguang and Karen Bit Vejle ran Masterclasses to teach seven local artists how to paper-cut. Thanks to the ongoing support of Skipton International through the Skipton Art Series and the One Foundation, artists Abi Overland, Anna Shipley, Ben Robertson, Joanna Brown, Karen Le Roy Harris, Lizi Hill and Maria Tarrant will be creating their own pieces of paper-cut art, as well as leading community workshops, in 2017.

With their new skills they will create their own pieces of paper-cut work and will be responsible for igniting a huge community outreach programme with local school children and the general public. As a legacy to the Paper Dialogues exhibition, the work created by students and the community will form Jersey’s ‘paper dialogue’ in the form of our own paper-cut dragon.

All of the work created (by artists, students and the community) will be exhibited in a celebratory showcase in 2017 titled ‘Paper Talks’. The exhibition will tell the story of the process and relations that have formed as well as what has been discovered through the work.

With the additional support of JEDFAS (Jersey Decorative and Fine Arts Society) twenty one schools will be taking part in the initiative.


Abi Overland

Abi specialises in drawing detailed images of natural and organic matter creating surreal and otherworldly landscapes to get lost on. Abi graduated from a BA (Hons) Illustration from the University of Brighton in 2014 and is currently a freelance illustrator and small business

Anna Shipley
In the past Anna has made figurative art, often in ink or graphite on paper. She prefers paper to canvas because it has always offered flexibility and a surface to work with not just on. It has endless possibilities, especially when you start to recycle the fibers, using it as an additional material rather than a space to fill.

Ben Robertson

As a full time mural artist, predominantly working outdoors, Ben enjoys experimenting when in the studio with new, alternative mediums and art forms that then influence his outdoor large-scale murals. Over the past two years he has directed comprehensive Graffiti Art lessons with student artists, aged from 6-12 years.

Joanna Brown

Joanna transforms spontaneous doodles into delicate artworks using ink and acrylics until she finally arrives at her elegant compositions, which are often mythical and open
to narrative possibilities. Her artwork takes on many shapes and sizes from small-scale ink drawings to 3D sculptures. She has a whimsical style using expressive flowing lines mixing traditional methods with the latest digital technology.

Karen Le Roy Harris

Originally from Jersey but now based in London, Karen’s work finds ways of reinterpreting the past as well as understanding the importance and relevance the past has today. She has previously worked on a large residency project with Jersey Heritage – ‘The Past Unravels’ at the Merchant’s House in Jersey Museum, which involved responding to the site’s history and creating a series of site-specific installations. More recently, Karen has curated a show in London working with Jersey Heritage archives and the works of Claude Cahun.

Lizi Hill

Lizi Hill creates sculptures and installations from metal, wood, paper, and porcelain. She shapes materials into sculptural forms exploring the idea of movement. Her inspiration is drawn from the natural world and the laws of nature. Lizi moved to Jersey in 2010 and made the transition from teacher to artist after completing a Foundation Art and Design degree at Highlands College.

You can see her kinetic sculpture ‘4 π’ at St Brelade’s Bay on the podium in stainless steel. Recently she installed a copper sculpture based on the Fibonacci spiral at Retreat Farm in Maufant. At the CCA gallery she has a large wooden sculpture made from steamed oak.

Maria Tarrant

Having graduated with a degree in Biology as well as Art and Design, Maria is intent upon finding ways to merge science and art in order to challenge and satisfy both the mind and the senses. She draws inspiration from mythology, fairy tales and heritage, the beauty that is hidden and the positives that emerge from negative situations.

Through her work she often uses symbolism as a form of artistic sarcasm, to twist status, be playful, and surprise the viewer. She uses many different disciplines including painting, collage, sculpturing and animation.