Shredded diaries create unique artwork display at Mountbatten


Shredded pages of an Island artist’s diaries crafted into inspiring abstract works are currently on display at Mountbatten’s Art Gallery.

Karl Stedman’s exhibition includes brightly coloured conical shapes which have been painstakingly made from thousands of hand-rolled coloured paper discs. For many years Karl, of Shanklin, kept diaries as a written record of his life, but soon realised that as well as taking up a lot of space, he was spending time dwelling in the past rather than the future. He took the decision to stop writing the diaries and rather than bin them, he used some of the pages to create new artwork.

Karl said: “The pieces are abstract but for me highly personal. They are autobiographical where I attempt to understand my life and explore my emotions; I’m able to review life events and travel on real and imagined journeys. The repetition of rolling the strips of paper is akin to the rolling of meditation or rosary beads and helps me to focus my thoughts. Most of the pieces are not given titles because as well as acting as a private diary for me I’m interested in how others perceive them without guiding them on a particular path.”

Alongside the abstract work are pen and ink drawings of Island scenes. Karl said: “I’ve always worked on detailed, representational pen and ink drawings, mainly of buildings set in their environment which relates to my architectural design background. As a relative newcomer to the Island I have found them a help in developing a connection to my environment and most of these drawings are of places close to where I live.”

Signed and mounted prints are available to buy for £15, with £5 from each purchase being donated to Mountbatten.

Both sets of artworks can be viewed in the Mountbatten Art Gallery, which is located in the main hospice building, throughout the week from 9am to 5pm.