When most people hear the word “Tyvek®,” it calls to mind images of house wrap or substrates for wide-format printing materials. But not for New York artist Béatrice Coron, who has been using DuPont™ Tyvek® to create breathtaking papercutting artwork for the past 12 years. In fact, Coron has been such a loyal customer that DuPont provided 100 yards of Tyvek® to her free of charge for her recent installation titled “Drifting Worlds” at the Muriel Guérpin Gallery in New York.
Coron’s work has been purchased by major museum collections, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Walker Art Center and The Getty. She’s had numerous solo shows in galleries in the United States, France and Japan. Her cut images tell stories inventing situations, cities and worlds that all have their own logic and patterns.
“Drifting Worlds,” (which was displayed in the dramatic street level window of the Guérpin Gallery) is a reverie about our attachments or non-attachments to the world. It features people drifting in boat-balloons. Some of them want to cut their roots, others try to anchor themselves, and still others live in harmony with nature or with their chosen place. These highly individual decisions are an open question and invite viewers to make their own stories and connect to worlds that have a dreamlike resemblance to their own.
“I chose Tyvek® from the beginning of my papercutting career because of its resistance and paper-likeness,” said Coron. “It is much stronger than paper, so I can make detailed cuts in it and it doesn’t rip the way paper would. It’s a very strong material that can be rolled and unrolled many times without being damaged,” explained Coron. “It has permitted me to create large pieces that would be unimaginable with paper, especially to install in exhibition and repack later.”
Coron’s longest cut roll to date is 55 feet, but she says that she definitely could cut longer pieces with Tyvek®. She has also started a collection of cut dresses and accessories and worked with a designer for the patterns and sewing. She wore one of these creations that she calls "The Magic Cape" to enter the stage at TED 2011 in Long Beach, Calif., where she spoke about the benefits of using Tyvek® in her work.
“I really appreciate DuPont’s generosity in providing the Tyvek® for ‘Drifting Worlds,’ said Coron. “I don’t normally sell the large pieces in installations like this, so it would have been a very expensive endeavor for me if I had to pay for the materials out of my own pocket.