New pop-up drawing (I thought of very old deaths…)

July 15, 2008 at 12:30 pm (Uncategorized)

I’ve been trying to problem-solve one of the biggest issues facing me as I do these pop-ups, and I think I may have figured out how to make all my (pop-up-related) problems go away.

I must have looked at hundreds of pop-ups by now. What I find myself coming back to over and over is that the ones I like the best are dependent upon a 90 degree fold (think: a birthday cake popping out of a card that is opened to a 90 angle) rather than a 180 degree fold (which is what is used most often in pop-up books, as the book opens up to a spread).

So… fine. The problem with this is that while I see the idea of “pop-up book” being full of all these interesting metaphoric possibilities, “pop-up card” doesn’t offer quite the same ring to it – yes, it’s still like this little world you hold in the palm of your hand and it’s still this expanding universe that starts out very small and grows, but it’s just not quite to the extent that you can have a book totally unfold and give you so much.

So in trying to figure out a way to merge the possibilities of 90 degree pop ups with the depth of a book, here’s what I’ve come up with: What if I put a long shelf up with a row of these “cards” that have scenes where one blurs into the next? Meaning, while the shelf will be perhaps at first glance like one of those WASPy collections of Christmas cards, only with the cards open to the viewer, upon a closer look you can see that the whole thing comes together to tell this intricate story.

I’m completely into this idea. Making the 90 degree pop ups is so much fun and I seem to be reasonably good at it, so it’s all moving very quickly. I’m envisioning this long shelf like 15′ or so with all these little, detailed pop-ups that you really have to spend a lot of time with in order to really see all the intricacies.

Anyway, here’s the first:

It’s a scene at night with these two Victorian-style homes. All the pop-up elements are made from one piece of paper, the same paper as the grass and the sky with the exception of the doors to the houses which are the only additional paper used. And the text, too – that is also on its own piece of paper, which is collaged onto the surface:

I thought of very old deaths, the kind that haunt a place and never go away – they remain in the atmosphere long after you expect they’d disappear. I always loved older architecture, but I wondered if this presented a constant problem – if the houses I loved were always doomed to be inhabited by the spirits of someone who had lived there long ago – certainly everything else in life seemed haunted in this way, with everything from today piled upon everything from yesterday, this never-ending heap of circumstances and experiences that would never go away.

A couple of details:

(Someday I will have a studio not so crammed full of stuff and maybe then I can take better pictures… until such time as that happens, I hope you can at least sort of see what I’m up to here!)

More to come; I have several underway…

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1 Comment

  1. Yadir said,

    I think this is a great idea!
    A self-contained-town-shelf where the narrative weaves in and out… a little David Lynch… Can you make it longer than 15′? Or would you consider having multiple shelves (maybe with multiple/parallel narratives)? I’d really love to see an insanely obsessive and intricate world out of these!

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