Arts·Paper Cuts

Newfoundland's had a rough winter. Artist Molly Margaret is making it a little better — with paper

At the end of a punishing winter in St. John's, Margaret is using paper to call attention to seasonal affective disorder.

'I'm expressing a light at the end of the tunnel using colour and silhouettes'

Newfoundland's had a rough winter. Artist Molly Margaret is making it a little better — with paper

2 years ago
Duration 4:18
On the heels of a harsh Newfoundland winter, artist Molly Margaret is making paper art about seasonal affective disorder - and hope. Filmmaker: Latonia Hartery

This video is part of our new series Paper Cuts, in which you get to be hypnotized by artists doing incredible things with paper, scissors, glue sticks and X-Acto knives.

If you followed the news in Newfoundland this winter, you'll already know that St. John's has been blanketed by snow. It looks magical, but it's meant business closures and people left stranded at home. Now, in the wake of the relentless weather, COVID-19 has shuttered storefronts and, like everywhere else in the country, kept people from gathering or doing much venturing out.

In this video made by filmmaker Latonia Hartery, you'll meet Molly Margaret, a paper artist who has decided to use her work to call attention to seasonal affective disorder — something more people in Newfoundland may be experiencing than usual. She says, "This piece I'm making today is about seasonal affective disorder, in Newfoundland specifically. The winters here can get cold and grey and quite dull and, as we all know, quite long. So I'm expressing a light at the end of the tunnel using colour and silhouettes."

Working on a piece like this, I go into a meditative state where I block out all the noise, everything around me, and it slows my breathing. It's quite helpful for me to have that time for myself.- Molly Margaret

Using layers of paper and some very careful cutting, Margaret creates an image that both helps her find some calm and, she hopes, makes others feel less alone.

"I love working with imagery that assists and can make people understand mental health a little bit easier and also, it helps the people who are suffering mental health realize that they're not alone and there's other people out there that are experiencing the same thing."

We could all use more art like this right now. Follow Molly Margaret here for more of her work and check out the other artists in our Paper Cuts series!

(Molly Margaret)
(CBC Arts/Molly Margaret)
(Molly Margaret)


Lise Hosein is a producer at CBC Arts. Before that, she was an arts reporter at JazzFM 91, an interview producer at George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight and a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto. When she's not at her CBC Arts desk she's sometimes an art history instructor and is always quite terrified of bees.

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