Award Winner in 2003:
Hans Christian Andersen is responsible for my passion for paper cuts. My passion goes back to my childhood, where I became enthusiastic about Andersen’s paper cuts and about making my own ones, which are a part of the riddles which Danish children traditionally send each other at Easter. My great fascination with Andersen’s paper cuts led me to psaligraphy, ‘the art of drawing with scissors’, as my mode of expression. Paper cuts have continued to fascinate me all my life. The paper cuts of Hans Christian Andersen are eternally alive and something you never get tired of. I have even been fortunate to be able to pass my joy of this aspect of Andersen’s artistry on to new generations; around Easter, I cooperate with local Odense authorities in the arrangement of a kind of annual Paper Cutting Workshop, where around 80 children under my guidance cut the riddle sheets for the riddle letters mentioned above. During Easter, these letters are exhibited in the Hans Christian Andersen Museum, where the children and I have ample opportunity to see and talk about Hans Christian Andersen’s paper cuts. It goes without saying that Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales and other works are inspiring. It has been very rewarding for me to illustrate both his fairy tales and poems. I think that Andersen’s visual art is just as important as his literary. I owe so incredibly much to Hans Christian Andersen, so it something very, very special for me to receive the eponymous award.
Sonia Brandes for her marvellous paper cuts