The paper sculptor artist leads us down a path to her enchanting online world.

Su Blackwell is an artist working predominantly in paper. She has illustrated books such as The Fairy Tale Princess; designed art fabrics for Liberty London; and contributed to columns in magazines, such as Harper's Bazaar. A true multi-disciplinarian, she also works as an art director and as a theatre set designer, the latter a natural leap since her bewitching and beguiling artworks are like mini stage sets themselves. Her magical and intricate paper sculptures, inspired by fairy-tales and typically made from the pages of old books, have gained admiration worldwide. Su is currently working on a crowd-funded book of illustrated fairy tales titled, Into the Dark Woods, part of a larger project, which will released next year.

Here, she extols her love of Instagram and recalls the time she met the inventor of the web in East Sheen. Journey with her for a spell as she leads us through the enchanted places that make her web.



My favourite website...

Ebay, along with worldofbooks.com. Ebay is my go-to place for buying materials and World of Books for sourcing the second-hand books that I use in my paper sculptures.

My favourite app...

Instagram. I love Instagram. It’s an interesting tool for putting work out there and for receiving feedback. It makes the relationship between you and the viewer more visceral. I scroll my feed in the morning and last thing at night, so I don’t miss anyone’s posts.



My favourite blog...

The model maker, David Neat. I’ve been following David’s blog for a few years. His enthusiasm, passion and knowledge for model making shines through his writing. He has just joined Instagram now too.

My Internet hero...

Greta Thunberg, for being fearless and for inspiring my seven-year-old daughter and her friends.

My favourite podcast...

I don’t listen to podcasts while I’m working. I find them distracting. At weekends, however, I like to catch up listening to the Woman’s Hour podcast with Jane Garvey and Jenni Murray.

My most recent buy online...

An illustrated French book of Perrault’s fairy tales, with a beautiful hand-written inscription in the end paper, dated 1905. I bought the book for its illustrations, to inspire a book of fairy tales I am working on.



The last book you downloaded or read was...

I like to hold a real physical book. I’ve never downloaded a book onto a screen. The last book I read was borrowed from my local library – it was Gossip from the Forest by Sara Maitland.

My favourite tweeter...

I don’t do Twitter.

Favourite Instagrammer...

I like to follow my contemporaries, artists and designers, such as Studio Mcguire, Anna-Wili Highfield and Ann Carrington. What I really love is coming across new artists and makers, whose work speaks to me on a profound level that I didn’t know about before.

Social media allowed me to meet...

Local artists. I live in East Sussex, and there is a real community of artists here. I’ve been able to tap into it thanks to Instagram and Facebook.

The best digital advice I've been given...

My friend Mel said to me, ‘Su, you need to get on Instagram!’



My screensaver...

A photo I took of bluebells in woodland during a walk in Fairlight Glen last spring. I find it relaxing.

My standout online memory...

It’s not an online memory as such, but when I met Sir Tim Berners Lee (inventor of the web). He was opening a plaque in a library in East Sheen, opposite to where I had my studio.

My pet online hate...

Instagram accounts, which follow, then unfollow to get more followers.

READ MORE

Jennie Maizels
Francesca Martin

By Nancy Alsop

December 2019