Inspired by historical ornament and pattern, Kristine Donnelly creates large-scale cut paper sculptures. Her work is the result of a painstaking laborious process. Using a simple blade, she hand cuts intricate designs into patterned paper. The patterns are an unrecognizable image inspired by wallpaper, lace, and geometry. Through screenprinting, Donnelly reproduces and repeats the patterns onto long rolls of paper, waiting to be cut. The repetitive motion, the choreographed act of cutting and printing the pattern is both meditative and obsessive. The cutting destroys sections of the printed pattern and reveals fragments of designs and walls hidden below.
Rather than hiding or preserving its fragility, Donnelly’s work tests the tolerance of paper. Through cutting, stitching, pinning, and stretching, she pushes the material to its most fragile skeleton and beyond. As she struggles to transform such an ephemeral material, her work questions the function and frivolity of decoration.
Kristine Donnelly lives in Cincinnati, Ohio and teaches art at Highlands High School in Fort Thomas, Kentucky. Her growing interest in pattern and design was sparked by an artist residency in Prague, Czech Republic. While studying the ornamentation that saturates Eastern Europe, Donnelly began creating small cut paper collages from abstracted patterned forms. Her work has since evolved into large-scale paper sculptures and installation. She is the recipient of a Summerfair Individual Artist Grant. Donnelly has exhibited locally and regionally, including the Carl Solway Gallery, the Carnegie Arts Center, and Taft Museum of Art, University of Cincinnati Galleries, and 21c Museum Hotel.