Celeste Cooning's Paper Work

Photo by Antony De Gennaro

For nighttime enchantment, nothing beats a stroll down Broadway near the Pantages Theater where you’ll come upon two luminous new installations, by Celeste Cooning and Nicole Linde.

Celeste Cooning creates magical, 3-D environments out of paper. For Spaceworks Tacoma she created The Golden Hour at 912 Broadway, an installation that evokes the overblown lushness of a Jurassic garden in luscious colors of pink and gold. Huge tree fronds, fluttery botanical forms and a honeycombed heart are incised with intricate patterns that allow the warm light to pass through. Using stencils, Cooning cuts all the patterns by hand from 4-5 ft. sections of paper or tear-resistant Tyvek.

“My formal training is rooted in a figurative painting tradition,” she said in an e-mail exchange. But an experiment with cut-paper panels led to working with wall-size shapes which she arranges so the effects of light and shadow become active elements.

"The Golden Hour" by Celeste Cooning

Cooning’s work references the vibrant cut-paper art of Mexico and China: “As I became more invested in the medium, the vast history of the cut-paper tradition quickly surfaced. I am certainly inspired by both my contemporaries and the many traditions spanning cultures around the world,” she notes.

“Long before I thought about cutting paper, I was lucky enough to see work by Japanese artist Yuken Teruya. He cuts and folds magical little trees from paper bags.” Cooning is creating her own unique path in the paper medium: “Not having any set rules about cut paper gives me tremendous freedom. The biggest challenge is having too many ideas and possibilities than I can keep up with.” The Golden Hour, 912 Broadway, through July 1.

* * * * *

Nearby The Golden Hour on Broadway is Nicole Linde‘s sparkling light installation, The Crystalline Garden. Inspired by a season spent in Iceland, Linde’s candy-color lightscape is framed by wintry, stripped branches and shines like a star-sprinkled, sci-fi altarpiece to Thor. It’s another good reason to take an evening art walk by the Pantages Theater and the Woolworth Building. The Crystalline Garden, 908 Broadway, through July 1.

0 thoughts on “Celeste Cooning's Paper Work

Leave a Reply