BASIS: Pop-Ups at the end of the Summer

September 19, 2011

I’ve been pouring over these photos that I have taken of work done at a Book Arts Summer In Salem workshop, as well as pages from a very special book that created by students during this past winter while working at North Main Gallery in Salem, NY

One thing I keep coming back to is how the dynamic energy of the students is so well aligned with dynamic paper structures.

There is something about putting a big pile of colored markers on the table, along with paper and instructions on how to make pop-ups that, well, just go together.

One thing that I have really noticed, and have been inspired by, about the pop-ups made by Salem youth (besides the bold colors, the whimsy and the energy of the drawings) is how well these young people grasp the concept of using multiple elements in the composition on their pages. For instance, in the page above, there are animals on three different levels.  Also, I am particularly enchanted by how the hats are layered and slightly intertwined and how they echo the tents of the landscape.

This boat is perched on a waterfall. The waterfall pops-up out from the page by being a basic box pop-up. But there’s more!
As the page opens the boat seems to  be teetering on the edge.

The Hidden V-Pop-up: Behind the Scenes of Going over the Waterfall

The secret behind the boat’s movement is the V-fold that the boat is attached to from behind , creating a diagonal movement when the page opens, so the predicament that this boat finds itself in seems tangibly real.

Slider behind a Box Pop-UP: Girls coming out of the Woods

Another way these students used the box pop-up dynamically is by making sliders that come out from behind the box.

It looks to me like the young artist here drew a tree or two on a separate piece of paper, created a landscape with a box pop-up, then cut out the trees that were drawn separately and, finally, added one to the box, the other to a slider element.

I so much admire the composition of these pages. It looks like there’s two pop-up boxes on this page,but what really makes this page striking to me is that the turtle (who had been upright and standing out on previous pages) is now upside down with just her little feet sticking up….and her crown floating away. The upside heroine with the splashes of red around her creates a bold and dynamic image.

I’ve put together an instructional hand-out for the two basic pop-ups, just in case you are now suffering from a touch of inspiration.
I’ll have this instructional sheet out in a day or two.

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