What is more Canadian than nights spent around the campfire in national parks? Holly uses paper collage with custom photography technique to create a warm, layered scene that makes you smell roasting marshmallows that aren’t really there.
An interview with Holly Barimah, Sr. Designer, Art + Craft, on her silver-winning submission, The Paper Forest, in the Graphis Poster Annual 2014 competition.
T+K: The creative brief asked you to explore your own thoughts and ideas on Canadian identity – how did you arrive at your subject matter?
Holly: When I think about what it means to be a Canadian, my mind instantly goes to my childhood ‑ my dad taking my brother and I camping, or our annual trip to the cottage. We spent our days in the sun and in the lake, but nighttime was always my favourite. A cool, moonlit evening, the smell of pine trees, and the warm crackling fire is Canada at its best.
T+K: What sort of person do you imagine owning your poster?
Holly: I imagine people who have had similar cottaging or camping experiences to mine might respond to the design. It could be on the walls of a city dweller who looks at it and dreams of their next chance to escape the big city or I could also imagine it hung in a log cabin or on the walls of a lodge.
T+K: Describe your process.
Holly: I worked with a five-colour palette of textured card stock, and cut out simple shapes to make up the elements in the poster. I set up all of my paper cutouts in a scene suspended from string under my kitchen cupboards. I then played with lighting techniques, and photographed the diorama. The photograph was brought into Photoshop where it was heavily processed, and perfected.
T+K: What’s your favourite detail?
Holly: My favourite detail is the canoe. It is the only piece in the diorama that was not papercraft, but from real birch bark taken from my cottage – the place that inspired the poster.
T+K: So, how does it feel to win a Graphis award for your work?
Holly: It makes me feel legit.
This poster received a Silver Graphis Award.
Size: 18 x 24″