Most people look at old newspapers as trash, but for artist Gugger Petter it’s a challenging medium for which she has the utmost respect. Using a special weaving technique, she’s able to take fragile newspapers and turned them into beautiful portraits.
Although she considers the informative purpose of the newspaper important, Petter has been fascinated with this unusual art medium because it presents her with a black/white/and limited color palette, which she has always preferred. In 1986, when she first arrived in California, she laid eyes on a stack of discarded newspapers yellowed by the sun, and found it very intriguing. From that day forth she started thinking about ways she could use this material in her art. She started by rolling newspapers into tubes and creating wall and floor sculptures, but after a couple of years she developed her weaving technique.
“The most difficult things working with newspaper, is actually what makes this material most interesting to me,” Gugger Petter says. “I have always been inspired by challenge, so when I decided to work with newspaper, it was in fact due to the limitations or difficulty this material presented – both in regard to color palette and fragility. “My manipulation of the tubes makes my work very strong, and the color limitation is a challenge that inspires me for each work I create. If I one day no longer find newspaper challenging as a work material, I would no longer work with it. But so far I am very inspired by newspaper. Furthermore, I also love the information aspect and importance of newspaper.”