Artist Laura Youngson Coll talks about her relationship with vellum. Historically the calf’s or goat’s skin has been used to write on. The Magna Carta, for example, was inscribed on it as, for centuries, were the laws of this land. However, Youngson Coll, who has featured in Jerwood Makers Open and was shortlisted for the Woman’s Hour Craft Prize in 2017, manipulates the material to create extraordinarily intricate sculptures.
Her work has been inspired by lichen and the 19th century biologist Ernst Haeckel. However, her most poignant pieces came in response to the death of her partner Richard from non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
She discusses her background, coming into contact with vellum for the first time, how it changed her art, and why the material allowed her to make sense of tragedy. A little like her sculptures it’s delicate, emotionally-moving stuff.