Valerie Jolly

Valerie Jolly is a French artist born in 1964. She casts objects in sticky wet tissue paper and when the paper dries, she peels it off and what you can see on the tissue paper, is what it was casting. She is called a paper sculptor.

My first impressions of her work was that she spray painted an object with white paint. Only when I looked closer, I realised the object was slightly transparent and that it was actually tissue paper wrapped around the object.

I used to do my own experiments with PVA and white tissue paper and did similar things to this artist, but the realism she gained was insane. I always ended up having bumps and rough edges while casting objects in wet tissue paper.

When I look at her work, I only see the object itself as if it was real, but only different in the color. There is no sign that this was ever casted in wet tissue paper. You would expect to see rips, some sides being thicker at some parts, but this paper sculpture doesn't show any of these. One of her quotes say "what I peel off carries the form and marks of the original, only it is colourless and weightless". The way she put the words tells me that she has a load of experience in casting such sculptures which is probably why her work is so realistic. It carries the form of the casted object.

When I look at the artwork, I constantly think that I'm looking at the actual object that was casted which was a pipe. The way it picked up all the detail makes the shape exactly the same as the pipe. The artist also used pencil to highlight some of the part in the paper sculptures. It would pick up edges, tone and give the object more detail.

The artwork gets me into a complex mood. What I mean is that I feel confusion when I look at her artwork.I do not why I get this feeling, but it might be because I keep thinking back to the object that was used to create this paper sculpture. I constantly get confused that this is a sculpture made of paper and not the actual object. The artist gave me this mood because she used such precision while creating this sculpture.

I think that applying pieces of tissue paper bit by bit must have been extremely difficult to pull off. Each piece must have been pressed into the object and all the air bubbles were to get rid off with each individual piece of tissue paper. It most definitely a long process, but the time is what gave the object it's  final form.

I think that the artist wanted to keep the form of the object and engrave it into paper. The way it looks so realistic is what she wanted to achieve in her work and being able to get the exact shape of the object is what she wanted to share with the audience in my opinion.


I think that this artist strongly links with one of my other artists I researched, Andy Goldsworthy. The similarities between them two artists are that they both leave a 3D object or a particular place that reflects to the theme of memories. They also quoted something that I think both link within one another. Andy Goldsworthy said ''A line defines the inside or outside edge of a shape'', and Valerie Jolly stated "what I peel off carries the form and marks of the original". Both of these quotes reflect towards the object or place that was used to create a piece of art. Goldsworthy used line to create a barrier between the place he was sitting on during the rainfall and the space around him that got soaked and this links to the other quote because Valerie Jolly has also used formal elements which was shape and form. These elements showed the exact copy of what was casted and they both carry a reflection of what was used to create the piece of art and the piece of art itself carries a memory of it. It was achieved through formal elements and the idea of creating a memory if the object/place/ experience.

Another artist that links in here is Andy Warhol. He doesn't link the same way the other 2 artists do, but the link he carries is the theme of memories. He used box files and collected objects every month. This carries a memory of experience of some of those object which clearly links to Goldsworthy because him sitting in the rain was all about the experience he got out of it; however he used a mark rather than an object to show this experience. 

Overall, all these artists link to my project and my personal plans on the final outcome. I am planning on using Valerie Jolly and Andy Warhol in my window installation. I want to cast some of the object in my box file and hand them on strings. I will still have the original objects and these will be put into a treasure chest rather than a box file. I think the a treasure chest highlights how significant the objects in the box are and that to me, they are like a treasure. The responses hanging above them will clearly relate to the artist Valerie Jolly.  


Casting of the Wallet-

As a response to Valerie Jolly, I casted some of the objects in my box file. One of the objects I casted, was my old wallet. The minute I started casting, I came across the first problem. As I was applying the first layer of the wet tissue paper, it was slippery on the smooth surface of the wallet and kept moving around as I was trying to press it down with a brush. Another problem I faced was the air bubbles. Each small piece of the tissue paper had many air bubbles that were very hard to get rid of. That might be because I was using large pieces of tissue paper. Perhaps using smaller pieces would be more successful. After I applied the first layer, the other layers were very easy to put on top. They no longer slipped around and stuck to the first layer very easily. At the end, I manged to put 4 layers onto the wallet; however the minimum was supposed to be 5-6. I didn't want to add too much because this wallet had details which I wanted to stay visible as the cast dried and having too many layers would make these details less visible.
Each time I was putting the tissue paper on the letters, I made sure to push the brush into the dents in the wallet so i would pick up all the detail of the letters. The outcome was very successful and the detail on the wallet was clearly visible. Also, when I peeled off the dry tissue paper, my wallet was cleaned out and all the dirt that was on it, stuck to the bottom of the cast. It basically cleaned my wallet out and made it shiny once again.  

Casting of the tip of a spray can-

1 comment:

  1. A strong artist responce. You should try and push this technique further using a wider range of processes. You could increase the scall or add colour or try unusual ways of casting. Mr B