in†∑®view prøje©† : Tahiti Pehrson

First of all, Tahiti has a really awesome first name. Tahiti. Secondly, She creates the most wonderful paper sculptures using layers of intricately hand-cut stencils. Any one who has worked with paper cutting or layering techniques can only wonder how she does it? Her mono chromatic 2-d dioramas that aesthetically embrace the natural world are truly one of a kind. On top of regularly exhibiting her work on the west coast, she has done some seriously cool album art for Joanna Newsom and Devendra Banhart. I'm so glad to have her as my first interview post! Interview Project starts here!

Interview I: Tahiti Pehrson

1. How did you choose your craft? What influenced you to use this particular stencil technique?

It evolved from stencils that I would paint into the layered pieces I do now. The paper was just so much better than the generation image. I still do both and a lot of silk screening too. I remember when I was young there was this diorama in the courthouse in town. It was about the different mining techniques. I’ve always kind of thought about that.

Cover Two

How long have you spent perfecting it?

3 652.42199 days more or less.

2. Where do you get the images you use to create your cutouts? Do you draw them by hand?

I take my own photos and I use patterns from money, Giullo patterns, playing cards, nature or wherever I can find them. I cut free hand also. I don’t lay things out. I just let it go along and each layers informs the next.

3. There is so much intricacy and fine attention to detail in each shape, do you have the layers cut out by a machine, or by hand?

It’s hand cut. I have done some metal stuff with vectors and a plasma plotter. But the originals were cut from paper too. You have to suffer to really to want it.


4. The Babylon Bride tiered paper cake is amazing! When you are done exhibiting a piece, how do you store your work after it's been assembled?

It’s rolling around the kitchen right now. I leave it outside in the summer. It’s all full of leaves, a great improvement. It was left near an open window for a good part of the winter. I plan on burning it to make room for the 2010’s.

5. What is your favorite brand of paper-friendly adhesive?

White Glue. Elmer's with the orange top and the guy the looks like part cow.


6. I see an organic, elemental vibe to your work. The photos of the stencils up in flames and the close ups of light shining through parts of your dioramas especially. Does the natural world have an influence in your art outside of actual images of plants and animals?

Yeah for sure. Light is an awesome toy and one of the few truths worth bending. atmosphere is the heir, fire illustrates the finite nature of things. Nature is just so unselfconscious.

7. Would you consider yourself a 2d or a 3d artist? Sculpture, collage, graphic, or stencil artist? In other words, what would you say to someone who asked you "What kind of art do you do?".

Titles are always tricky. You never know weather or not to include your sex and nationality. I think if I had to narrow myself down a few words I would have to say. Paper Cutter or attendant in the garden of Nature’s Cathedral. I’m painting the roses red.

To view more of her work : Website and Flickr

If you live in Portland, she is showing at the Together Gallery ~ 2916 NE Alberta St., Suite A, Portland, OR. 97211. Show will be up until July 20th, 2009.

Record Painting (process picture set I)

Materials: Reeve's gouache paints, orange construction paper, transparency, paintbrush, pallet, tape, Crate of records.

Objective: Documentation of light, shadow and musical taste. Painted from life.