"Talking Paper"

with artist Leo Monahan

Leo at work.
    Leo Monahan, world-famous paper sculptor (and dear friend of Leslie’s) can make paper "talk. " What begins as an equal opportunity, flat piece of paper, when placed in Leo’s hands becomes a work of art. Leo loves to talk to children about the magic of making paper talk.
    Old Lady in the Shoe

The following is an activity Leo does with the children that you too can do. Leo explains the interaction with the kids.

Click here to learn more about Leo and his work.

    "Hi, Kids - I'm going to draw a shape with the scissors."
    I cut an apple from folded paper.
    I hold it up and say, "What is this?" The kids all say, " An apple." I say, "No it isn't - it's just a piece of paper. But the paper is talking to you and you are answering. That is communication and the apple is just a symbol."
First cut-out.
    I then cut a heart out of the center of the folded apple.
First cut-out.
    I hold it up and say, "What is this?" The kids answer, "Just a piece of paper." I say, "but what is the paper saying to you?" They answer, "Heart, love, valentine, mother, etc." I then tell them that the symbol of the heart is complex, it can have many meanings while the apple is a simple symbol and has only one meaning.
First cut-out.
    Then I hold up the apple with the heart cut from the center and ask, "besides just a piece of paper, what does this say?" "Apple for the teacher, I love apples, and once Eat your heart out."
Hand with paper
    I close this exercise by telling them that this is storytelling with symbols. You use simple and complex symbols to tell stories.

    This began with a simple piece of paper but it always comes down to hearts and apples.

Click here to learn more about Leo and his work.

Click here to go to the " Talking Paper " PDF file.