Directory profile: Andrea Martin
I am a papercutter. My creative inspiration comes from observing the plants and animals that live in urban environments. I transform images that I see and that I take with my camera into detailed drawings that eventually become illustrative silhouettes of places and objects.
Trained as a biologist and growing up in rural New England led to the development of my interest in exploring nature and our relationship to it, emphasizing the incongruities that arise at the interface between nature and the urban society that permeates it. I incorporate into my work a variety of biological themes such as adaptation, evolution, and how humans and animals interact with each other and with the environment.
My first career was in biological research where I spent long hours dissecting tiny insects under a microscope using handmade dissection tools. Now when I do my artwork, the process of progressively cutting away the paper to release the image reminds me of the dissection process. The images are cut from one piece of black paper using only an x-acto knife and must be simplified and arranged so that each element fits together like a puzzle, with each piece retaining a connection to the whole.