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Lea Sautin, a Paper Myth of Exhibited Beauty

Back at the end of April I took Lynne Denman to sing at the private view of Lea Sautin's exhibition at Oriel Mwldan, called Through The Paper Window. The exhibition told some of the Mabinogion tales, from Mererid to Matholwch, Branwen to the raging Boar - so naturally I was intrigued.

I was not disappointed. Lea's work is a lengthy process of layers, each one a master of form. She prints her own paper, then sculpts with it, then photographs the sculptures. The result is a mesmorizing depth, a precise ambiquity of meaning and movement that directly encapsulates the essence of myth. Stunningly beautiful, delicate and fluid the sculptures themselves seem to breathe stories. The photographs look like etchings, they surprise and dance, somehow evading the boundaries of dimensionality. It is rare that I am impressed by an artist - perhaps, having grown up surrounded by the making of art I am more cynical and demanding that is often fair. However, with Lea's work I found myself taking people on the trek across to Cardigan time and again in order to redescover the canon, and to see others' faces open in wonder at their tales.

Here is a small selection of photographs from a collection of visits. I await her next show with an eagerness that I feel sure will be fulfilled...

Mererid, the ship of many stories, the Taliesin's salmon of wisdom, Rhiannon's horse, Branwen's starling which somehow is also Bendigeidfran in crow form - and of course, Gwydion and Gilfaethwy, perhaps hiding the King of the Sea Trees in their midst.


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