Showcase Demonstrates the Creative Possibilities of YUPO Synthetic Paper
(FARMVILLE, VA – July 2016) — On July 8, the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts held an exhibit premier for “Chasing Shadows, The Magical Realities of Elly MacKay.” The exhibition showcases the miniature shadow theaters, prints, original hand-cut renderings, curiosity cabinets and large scale, site-specific installation crated for LCVA’s Main Street Gallery by the artist.
These stunning, whimsical works, which have a strong narrative quality, are created predominately by using YUPO Synthetic Paper, pen-and-ink figures, an open-sided “theatre,” and a very old-fashioned manipulation of sunlight and lamplight. MacKay, who grew up in an old stone church in Big Bay, Ontario, Canada, finds inspiration through Victorian entertainment inventions, and is particularly drawn to tunnel books, magic lanterns, stereoscopes, paper theaters, and zoetropes.
While her formal training is in printmaking, MacKay’s appreciation for YUPO paper dates back to her informal introduction to paper arts as a teenager. Today she illustrates covers for children’s novels and creates unique images for picture books using layers of paper, light and photography. MacKay has also written and illustrated three children’s book of her own featuring images created with YUPO paper: Butterfly Park, (2015); Shadow Chasers, (2014); and If You Hold a Seed, (2013) all published by Running Press.
Chasing Shadows is the first in a new annual exhibition series organized around the Virginia Children’s Book Festival. The exhibition and related programming were made possible through the generosity of Candice Jamison Dowdy and Charles H. Dowdy III, Northwestern Mutual, the Sansom Foundation, the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Yupo Corporation America.
The exhibit runs through Nov. 6, 2016. Gallery hours are Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 1-5 p.m. Contact the Gallery: (434) 395-2206. www.lcva.longwood.edu.