I find something very therapeutic about the act of cutting. If I don’t like an image I can cut more until I attain the desired results. It becomes a metaphor, the paper is the world as I choose to view it. It keeps my hands trained and busy; it empowers me. With a sharp blade, it becomes my meditation, and my method to express strong emotions that I often find difficult to vocalize. It’s one thing to draw a picture or paint, it is another entirely different expression to physically cut your image out of paper. It is my voice. When I create it is like an involved and deep conversation with myself that I feel comfortable sharing with the viewer. Paper is my language and with each piece I complete or each new technique I learn I am becoming more articulate and fluent. Michelangelo said, “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free”. A blank sheet of paper becomes alive when I alter it.
My name is Desiree Hagen, I live in Homer. I have lived there for over 7 years now and have been papercutting for 15 years. I love tactile art forms as well as giving back to the community. I am volunteer for several nonprofit art organizations and I ave donated my art or time to benefit the following nonprofits: Homer Council on the Arts, Bunnell Street Art Center, Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies, Homer Fiber Arts Collective, Kachemak Bay Broadcasting Inc. (Homer’s community supported radio), Homer Cycling Club, Haven House (shelter for battered women), the Homer Farmers Market, and Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic, Alaska Artists in Residence program, Alaska Artists in Schools Program