Artist Shreds Documents, Then Creates Unique Sculptures from the Scraps

Canadian artist Sandra Gregson is serious about creating beautiful things from destruction. But it is not her studio, her sculptures, or her drawings that she destroys; it is the most innocuous yet most obtrusive clutter in everyone’s life: documents.

For her “the year my dog died” series, Gregson shredded the loose papers piling up around her and repurposed the scraps into unique sculptures. Bits of pay statements, bills, and ATM receipts stitched together become throw rugs, a shredded dictionary is turned into a swath of fabric. While there are plenty of variations on repurposing trash into art, this intentional destruction—particularly of personal data—is a unique twist. (And, frankly, something we all fantasize about doing when confronted with stacks and stacks of files to sort through.)

For Gregson, as she describes in her artist statement, “these works consider how accumulation defines us.”

Other works … refer to the accumulative nature of language and culture. Impermanence is deliberated in the process of shredding and making: undoing and redoing.

See her work below, and explore additional paper-themed projects at her site.

Ulysses, shredded pages of novel, thread, book cover, numbered tags © Sandra Gregson

Ulysses, shredded pages of novel, thread, book cover, numbered tags © Sandra Gregson

Ulysses, book cover © Sandra Gregson

Ulysses, book cover © Sandra Gregson

Ulysses, shredded pages of novel, numbered tags © Sandra Gregson

Ulysses, shredded pages of novel, numbered tags © Sandra Gregson

Words, shredded dictionary, thread © Sandra Gregson

Words, shredded dictionary, thread © Sandra Gregson

statements of earnings (from 2002) shredded paper (pay statements), thread

statements of earnings (from 2002) shredded paper (pay statements), thread © Sandra Gregson

Rug, shredded paper, thread © Sandra Gregson

Rug, shredded paper, thread © Sandra Gregson

Rug, shredded paper, thread © Sandra Gregson

Detail, rug, shredded paper, thread © Sandra Gregson

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