Richard Sweeney is undoubtedly an outstanding artist whose body of work is comprised primarily of sculptures constructed from paper. His artwork is frequently linked to origami, and a lot of his work is about geometric forms. His attention to fine detail and spatial awareness are magnificent, and his ability to create clean sweeping lines from a flat sheet of paper is incredible.
Richard Sweeney found a natural talent for sculpture at Batley School of Art and Design in 2002, which guided him to the study of Three Dimensional Design at the Manchester Metropolitan University. There he focused on the hands-on manipulation of paper to make design models, which eventually resulted in sculptural pieces in their own right.
“Paper is the material I feel most comfortable with, and has been at the heart of my practice for many years. For me, it is important that I can manipulate a material by hand; I work best when I can respond to a material in a tactile way, and I use this as a way of discovering new forms: paper lends itself perfectly to this approach. Paper cannot be forced into particular shapes, I have to be sympathetic to its limits, so I feel as though paper guides me in the discovery of sculptural forms.”
The England-based artist works mainly with a ruler and cutter to bend, fold and glue together his elaborate sculptures, covering anything from table-top size to floor-to-ceiling installations. Particularly remarkable are his pleated sculptures, which often don’t even use any adhesive to retain their three-dimensional form.
Sweeney has lectured at universities around the world and frequently holds workshops to share his knowledge of paper folding and construction techniques. Also check out the elaborate baroque paper wigs by Asya Kozina or the intricate paper mandalas by Michael Velliquette if you enjoy amazing paper art.