Danish/Norwegian Artist Karen Bit Vejle (56) tells magical stories with her scissors. She is always listening to music while cutting, and there is also a great degree of humour in her world of imagery; humour and the ability to identify joy in small things. Just as often, though, she confronts deep seriousness and themes intended to cause involvement and reflection. Her works are captivating surprise packages, evoking both astonishment and inspiration.
Karen Bit Vejle’s form of expression, psaligraphy, literally means the art of drawing or painting with scissors. Contrary to almost everything else in the world today, psaligraphy is a slow art. It takes time to master, plan and perform it. The works are formed from a large, continuous piece of paper and cut with only a small pair of scissors. Every single scissor cut is carefully planned, as the slightest mistake can have disastrous consequences for the end result. This is a slow art of painstaking patience that demands the utmost concentration. Which part shall be cut out, and which shall not?
Karen Bit Vejle creates images of air and paper. Her magical cuttings are rooted in a tradition that has known a long journey through history, beginning in the first century, when paper was first invented by the Chinese. In fact, the Chinese started cutting in paper before they used it for writing. The art of psaligraphy has developed differently throughout the world, but is particularly rooted i Chinese and other Asian cultures, and also in Bit’s native country of Denmark. However, Bit has created a personal style and technique that is entirely her own.
In her words:
“My heart and soul are at peace
when I have the scissors in hand
and the paper dances
between the blades.“