Beauty within constraints: Paul Jackson

One crease origami by Paul Jackson; paper is colored with watercolor pigment and wet-folded.

A friend called my attention to the work of Paul Jackson who does a variety of creative origami – the photos below are from his origami abstracts. He became intrigued with the question: what can you do with just one crease?  His work is displeasing to origami purists: he makes abstract forms, he uses pastels and pigments on the paper – in short, he has moved beyond the boundaries of the traditional way of doing origami. He has carried something of the spirit into his work, though.

The self-imposed requirement to work with a single crease seems to present a very limited set of possibilities.   His work challenges some of the themes of modern society. Where our culture emphasizes having a multiplicity of choices and freedom to make new ones at all times, Jackson’s work asks what we might learn if we severely limit the range of our choices and explore what is possible within those limits.  Something like an anchorite of paper folding.


About Sister Edith

Benedictine sister of St. Scholastica Monastery, Duluth, Minnesota
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One Response to Beauty within constraints: Paul Jackson

  1. Monica Sawyn says:

    Because I’m a photographer, I can appreciate the creativity involved when there are limited choices. Limitations create the same necessity that is touted as the mother of invention, aka creativity. The paradox is that limitless choices can be paralyzing, whereas restrictions create freedom. It reminds me of the “default setting” Jerome Kodell, OSB, talks about in one of his books. For me, it’s the teachings of the Church and, more narrowly, those of Benedict. My response to things is always weighed against those. I don’t have to reinvent the wheel. I think I’ve wandered a bit, but your blog was food for thought!

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