Scalpel-Painting (or Papercut Bas Relief) is neither collage nor paper sculpture. Collage consists of separate pieces of material pasted together; paper sculpture aims at an approximation to the actual object.Here, however, impressions are created, as in painting, but are obtained by cutting with a scalpel through from two to ten layers.
Each colour used is represented by one complete sheet of paper. The sheets are stapled together in a sequence determined by the nature of the colour scheme and the design, and placed vertically on easel or wall. They are then cut into so as to expose different shapes on different levels. Slashing and bending are also employed.
If a finished picture were taken apart, each layer would be found to cohere still in one sheet-though that sheet might be perforated even to the extent of lace. Areas of flat pattern alternate with modelled passages ranging from shallow relief to the almost three dimensional. Photographs however excellent convey only a semblance to the actual effect. Set in box frames under glass, these works are in every way permanent.Several hundred exist in collections in Britain, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the Americas.