5 October 2012
Last updated at 12:38
An exhibition has opened in Manchester exploring how artists are" transforming the humble scrap of paper into amazingly powerful creations that could be destroyed with a single tear".
The First Cut gathers together the work of 30 international artists who work with paper and includes both big exhibits, such as Manabu Hangai's large leafed trees, and intricate works, like Justine Smith's gun and grenade sculptures.
It features seven new commissions, including one by British artist Rob Ryan, who has produced his largest piece of "incredibly detailed poetic imagery" to date in Map Of My Entire Life, which was cut from a single 6 sq m (64 sq ft) piece of paper.
The exhibition takes in two galleries, with the majority of pieces shown at Manchester Art Gallery, while a selection of fashion-related works, including Susan Stockwell's Money Dress, are displayed in the Gallery of Costume in Rusholme.
A Manchester Art Gallery spokeswoman said the show aimed to create a "playful and immersive experience for visitors" and that the galleries were being "taken over by installations that seem to explode from or tumble out of the walls".
She added that in the show, "fragility and beauty sit side-by-side with dark fairytale imagery, sinister scenes and stark political comment".
"The artists featured cite a diverse range of influences on their work, from globalisation and environmentalism, sexuality and slavery to architecture, fashion, fairytales and death metal," she said.
Galleries director Dr Maria Balshaw said the artists being shown "all take paper, that most familiar and daily of materials, and transform it into something extraordinary and other-worldly".
The First Cut is at Manchester Art Gallery and the Gallery of Costume until 27 January 2013.