A modern-day illustrator par excellence is Michael Roberts who has worked with Gillian Newberry the owner of Bennison Fabrics, to create the Cut-Out fabric collection. Michael has a unique way of making graphic collages out of paper cut outs and it is this technique that Bennison have now transferred to linen, hand screen-printing his designs for use in interiors.
The landmark show at Tate Modern called Matisse: The Cut-Outs explores the final chapter in his career in which he began ‘carving into colour’ and his series of spectacular cut-outs was born. For Matisse this practice was a way of ‘making my colours sing without…rules and taboos.’ The use of paper is liberating.
I spent a happy Bank Holiday Easter Monday at Matisse’s exhibition enthralled by his luminous papier découpé. To create such a body of work in the final years of his life is extraordinary. Colour bathes whole rooms at Tate Modern as each maquette dances across the walls. With painted paper as his medium and tailor’s scissors as his tool, Matisse gave coloured sheets the radiance of stained glass, infused contour with sculptural presence. Young and old marvelled and left enthused and eager to just have a go.