17 Oct

Paper Weight: Works in Paper by Elsa Mora

Elsa Mora is a multi-disciplinary Cuban-America artist and illustrator. I count her amongst my list of favourite artists for her ability to work in every type of material, and for her brilliant and unique craftswomanship with paper. I was thrilled to learn of her show in Eugene Oregon at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art that opened in late August, and knew it was my best opportunity to see her work in person.

Boris and I made a long weekend road trip out of the visit and used Portland as our base rather than Eugene. The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is located on the beautiful University of Oregon Campus and is a gorgeous old brick building (I forgot to take a photo).

Elsa Mora at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

Elsa Mora at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

The work in the Paper Weight exhibition explores different themes around the human mind, including mental health issues, and is broken into six sections representing cognitive categories: consciousness, perception, thinking, judgement, language, and memory. Every piece is highly detailed and is made from paper. I was so excited and inspired to see these up close and in person.

Elsa Mora at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

Elsa Mora at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

Elsa Mora at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

Elsa Mora at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

Untitled

Untitled

Some of my favourite pieces were contained within two glass cases in the centre of the room. One Hundred and One Notions is a collection of small paper sculptures each representing a mental disorder with the overall theme of perception. I think these objects really showcase Elsa Mora’s skill with manipulating paper.

The museum published an excellent hard cover catalogue to accompany the show, and it includes photos of all the work and an interview with the artist herself. It’s a terrific addition to my collection of paper art books.

Elsa Mora at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

Elsa Mora at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

Elsa Mora at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

The photos below were taken in the gorgeous inner courtyard at Jordan Schnitzer Museum, which had mid-afternoon sun pouring in at the time.

Elsa Mora at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

Elsa Mora at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

The trip took an epic amount of travel to get there and back, but I think it was worth it. I came away from the show feeling inspired, and driven to push my own paper work in new ways. Paper Weight continues until January 20, 2019.

© Rachael Ashe