Mandy Brannan – Book Artist – Paper Maker
Mandy Brannan is a London based book artist, papermaker, and workshop leader. She researches, observes and engages with patterns and images to create her visual arts language.
Mandy’s main influence, within her book arts practice explores her personal interaction with the architecture of London: both their visual details and their political economic aspects. She has always been intrigued by structural details of architecture and this influence reaches back to her jewellery that was designed and created during the late 70’s while attending Loughborough College of Art and Design.
Since the 90’s Mandy’s experimental papermaking practice has been developed by combining both Japanese and Western papermaking methods. By using traditional bast fibres (gampi and kozo) with leaf fibres (abaca and sisal) she creates complex patterns and layers that are influenced by her research. Recently this handmade paper has become a facilitator for her research regarding ‘windows’ and their structural and philosophical aspects. She has created artists’ books and large framed works that explore the understanding that a view through a window can have a transformative, life changing experience.
Mandy has also experimented with different printing processes – chine colle printing with her finer, thin papers; lino, dry point and screen printing. She continues to develop and create bespoke papers for printers, fine artists, book artists and commercial designers/companies.
Her plant papermaking practice stems from the gathering and processing of plant materials found or grown first in Brixton and more recently in Walthamstow. With these she has created a series of ‘Plant Manuals’ that are collections of plant paper samples, their recipes and anecdotes regarding the different plants.
Mandy’s teaching methodology has been honed over several years. By using her knowledge of historic and contemporary papermaking, her practical experience and her understanding of the skills necessary to make papers with all manner of materials; she is able to create a learning environment that can promote exploration and a discourse of new ideas by pushing the boundaries of traditional papermaking and papermaking for book arts.
Every student that attends the workshops brings their own histories, skills and design ideas – she offers a medium that can enable many transformative possibilities. Not just to make a plain sheet of paper or an empty book.
Highlights of 2017-2019
Art Work in Public Collections
Tate Britain, London
Camberwell College of the Arts, London
St Benedict College, Minnesota
University of Southampton, Winchester School of Art
Manchester Metropolitan University