Challenging Perspectives: In my art, I like to take every day items and scenes and alter them to prompt a new way of thinking. This is exactly what Peace Paper Project does.
People take fabric, from clothing, military uniforms, bed sheets, you name it, and make paper out of the pulp from this fabric. Then, using the paper, Drew and Margaret work with the people to make prints, paintings, and diaries.
Drew and Margaret (the people behind Peace Paper Project) travel around the world working with veterans, survivors of sexual abuse and assault (and their allies), and cancer survivors, and survivors of other illnesses, to help them heal through art. The idea is that a person takes some fabric that has meaning to them, and make something new out of it.
“The concept of creating paper from clothing with personal significance reaches a new level as women of all ages snip, beat, and reform their underwear together.” -peacepaperproject.org
For example, Drew talked about a workshop that he did at a cancer hospital where patients took hospital gowns, masks, and bed sheets and made paper, and then used the paper to make diaries in which patients were able to do creative writing exercise as a therapeutic healing exercise.
I had the pleasure of coming across Peace Paper Project working with the GW Office of Veterans Services at George Washington University. I spoke with Drew and Margaret for almost an hour as they explained their project to me, and showed me the process of making the paper. It is really a phenomenal project in that it uses a unique process to reclaim material to make it into something new, allowing people to heal during the process. See below for the process of making paper, and then some of the final products —> (If you want to see their official “how to make paper” process, check out their website here.)
Here are some images of the pieces that come out of this amazing project: