About Paper Poetry

Paper Poetry is a collection of original collaged artworks created from vintage and reclaimed materials, plus prints and hand-crafted stationery, by artist/designer Helen Edwards.


Helen Edwards

Helen Edwards is a self-taught artist based in Newtown, in Sydney's inner west. She began her artistic practice around 2006 and has recently started exhibiting her work. Currently focused on mixed media collage, her artwork is influenced by traditional crafts, textiles and embroidery, industrial and utilitarian objects, street art, illustration, packaging and re-use.


Artist statement

Beauty is found in unexpected places - peeling paint, rust, decay, industrial settings and everyday objects.

To me, cardboard packaging has a beautiful simplicity – two sheets of thin card with an undulating layer of card in between. It is thick and sturdy, but light and quite fragile at the same time. There is something honest and humble about plain brown cardboard, and fruit and vegetable boxes have a na├»ve charm.

My works incorporate found materials. I find and use discarded packaging and, by slicing the packaging into squares, I also ‘find’ text fragments, lines, colours and textures. Some of the plain packaging is first painted roughly with acrylic paint, which adds a patina of brush strokes, blended colours and imperfections.

When arranging these elements into abstract compositions, I follow an intuitive process, guided by principles of rhythm, colour, contrast, direction and balance. The squares are tightly packed together but the internal structure of the cardboard is visible along the edges of the finished artworks.

I am interested in the relationship between simplicity, complexity and harmony. These collages have a simple structure based on a mosaic of squares, but the detail within each piece adds layers of complexity.

Packaging is intended to attract and communicate but it is not usually considered beautiful. My aim is to reclaim these discarded materials and to imbue them with meaning and value.

– Helen Edwards