Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Rock! Paper! Scissors! Shoot! - Paulsrud Rocks Noyes

Pamela Paulsrud, a Wilmette native, stands atop a ladder staring pensively at a wall of stones. With one small pebble in her hand and mounting clay in the other, any passerby could think she was playing an elaborate game, or perhaps even decorating our stylish white walls. However, as you draw nearer, it becomes clear that what Paulsrud is creating is no game or decoration, but a beautiful poem crafted of out small stones and written . . . in brail.

Part of an instillation entitled “Rock, Paper, Scissors” that opens October 11th at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center, Paulsrud’s creation is modeled after her brother’s poem, “When You See the Soil.” The poem expands on what Paulsrud calls the stewardship of the earth and explains how humanity is failing to take care of its precious world. “Until the vision is felt inside, the eyes, the brain, the hand can’t see,” say the tiny rocks on the wall. Paulsrud chose to display the poem in brail to show how we as society don’t really “see” the true earth. “I’ve always been intrigued by the ability to communicate beyond the message encoded in the text,” explains Paulsrud, and this piece surely bridges that boundary.

A lifelong artist, Paulsrud got the idea for this piece from her greatest inspiration – nature. “I feel myself drawn to nature,” says Paulsrud, “my artwork [and] my life [are] informed and inspired by both the inner and outer landscape.” By taking long walks on the beach, riding her bike through the forest, and meditating on hilltops, Paulsrud connects with the land to uncover her next artistic creation.

Paulsrud also specializes in papermaking and book altering, interweaving designs of cymatics into both. “Cymatics [are a] sound wave phenomena,” describes Paulsrud on her website ( She is involved, too, with an on-going project called Tree Whispers that collects handmade paper with stories about trees written on them and then builds them back into tree like shapes.

We are all very excited to see Paulsrud’s finished product. Personally, this entire exhibit is my favorite installation that we have had at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center. This installation is running from September 18th through November 11th. So come out to the reception for “Rock, Paper, Scissors” on Saturday, October 11th from 2:00 to 4:00pm to see it all in action!

- L.A.U.R.E.N.

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