Below you’ll find a quick and easy #ArtAtHome assignment: to make your own Paper Cut Projection piece. This art-based challenge is part of a series that celebrates past ArtPrize-winning entries. Find more art challenges from this series.

Paper Cut Projections

What You’ll Need:

  • Construction or cardstock paper
  • Scissors
  • Tape

How to Make Them:

  1. Using a cardstock paper rectangle folded in half, experiment with folding the paper to make triangles and cutting geometric shapes into the folded edges.
  2. Open the paper to reveal that your cut shape is mirrored on the other side of the fold, creating a symmetrical cut-out. Continue making new folds and cutting shapes out on the fold to complete your design.
  3. Flatten the paper and fold in half again, see how many ways you can make it stand up. Does it create shadows?
  4. Try making another piece and fitting them together. You can use tape to secure the pieces.
  5. Experiment with shining a light through it to create projections on the surfaces in your home.

Our Inspiration for This Challenge

Intersections by Anila Quayyum Agha, Public Vote Grand Prize Winner and Juried Grand Prize Co-Winner at ArtPrize 2014 (photo by Brian Kelly)

Intersections is an immersive art installation composed of a single, bright light shining through an intricately cut wood sculpture, casting shadows onto every surface of the gallery. As visitors move through the space, these projected shadows include their silhouettes. Artist Anila Quayyum Agha was born in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, and uses geometric ornamentation from Islamic art and architecture, including sacred spaces to create new places of inclusion. Her work is a contemplation on being excluded from the mosques during her childhood due to her gender.

Geometric design has been used in many different cultures throughout history. Symmetrical mathematical patterns can create awe and a sense of order in places of worship.

By Allison Palm on