Northampton mechanic-turned-artist to host exhibition for his amazing intricate leaf designs
As Aasen Stephenson walked through Abington Park on his way home one day he had a light bulb moment.
Ten years ago, while Mr Stephenson was working as a mechanic, he was creating work using traditional paper-cutting techniques, as part of his hobby.His work would form stencils which he would use to spray-paint portraits onto canvases.The inspiration came at the time Banksy was making it big on the scene. Aasen said he too was using graffiti, and after the success of Banksy's pieces lots of people started accepting this style of art into their homes.After selling his wares to his friends at work he took a leap of faith and started selling his designs in a shop he took on at Northampton's former fish market a few days a week.But the St James man turned his attention to sycamore leaves one day when he was walking through Abington Park.On the ground one autumnal morning he thought he could use his paper-cutting skills on a different, natural canvas.It was a challenge at first but now the former mechanic is exhibiting 15 pieces of work at Abington Park Museum at the end of this month, all designed on leaves. He said: "I am excited for the exhibition, and a little apprehensive."I'm not sure what people will think to a room filled with framed leaves but hopefully people can see the work what has gone into it."But acquiring the skill to design the leaves did not come overnight.Five years ago, when he first started his craft, it would take him more than a day to finish his masterpieces, which are based on poems and song lyrics.Through trial and error Aasen has learned that, to get the best result, he needs to use a scalpel blade and presses the leaves in a magazine overnight.But leaves must be less than two days old and found on a dewy morning to avoid crumpling.Aasen's exhibition will be on from Saturday, September 21 to Sunday, November 17 at Abintgon Park Museum.