The paper sculptures of Elva Robinson are vivid, imaginative statements in three dimensions.
I first met this soft-spoken Christian artist, in a rather brief encounter at a gallery event. On Gallery Night, I was showing my work among other artists, and she was there to view the art. As we chatted, I found myself fascinated by her medium of choice. Elva manipulates paper to create vibrant three dimensional work. She cleverly combines photography with her paper sculptures, creating intriguing art. The organic shapes of her work pulsate with color and energy. The work is usually no larger than 16x20" with an average depth of 1-2".
Remarkable as her work is, her story of overcoming with God through painful circumstances is what makes her work truly meaningful. Elva's story is the story of God’s faithfulness in the life of a believer and the art that resulted.
“The work I do is an artistic out-working of Romans 8:28, for in developing this technique, God truly did "work all things together for good."
I was interested in photography since high school, and worked at improving my skills over the years. The advent of digital photography opened new vistas of possibilities as to what could be done to a photograph on a home computer.
Ever since I could use a pair of scissors, I constructed things out of paper. All I needed to be happily occupied as a child, was a stack of paper, a pair of scissors, and tape or glue. In my adult years, I began to experiment with the art of paper sculpture.
A couple of years ago, I developed a bad case of tendinitis in my right elbow. I had to quit doing much of anything that required using my right arm, wrist, or hand. That ruled out artwork of any kind. I really couldn't do much except read, which, thankfully, I do enjoy.
However, I could take photographs, because the lightweight, digital camera did not strain my arm. So I redirected my creative energy to photography and learning what I could do with my work on the computer.
When my elbow had healed, I began to ask myself how I might combine photography with my passion for shaping paper. I now believe that it was a question that the Holy Spirit put into my mind. What I call "photo sculpture", came out of pursuing the answer to that question, while healing from tendonitis.
God took two of my interests - paper sculpture and photography, and through a period of injury and healing, grew in me an idea for something new!”
When life gets tough and you are tempted to give up your artistic dreams, I hope that Elva’s story will encourage you.