Laura Youngson Coll on vellum

27.11.19. Artist’s studio, London

Laura Youngson Coll is an artist and sculptor based in London. In this episode we talk about her relationship with vellum. Historically the calf’s, or goat’s skin, has been used to write on. The Magna Carta, for example, was inscribed on it as, for centuries, were the laws of this land. However, Youngson Coll, who has featured in Jerwood Makers Open and was shortlisted for the Woman’s Hour Craft Prize in 2017, manipulates the material to create extraordinarily intricate art works.

Her pieces have been inspired by lichen and the 19th-century biologist Ernst Haeckel. However, her most poignant work came in response to the death of her partner Richard from non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

She discusses her background; coming into contact with vellum for the first time; how it changed her art; and why the material allowed her to make sense of tragedy. A little like her sculptures, it’s delicate, poignant, emotional and moving.

Find out more about Laura Youngson Coll 

A detail of Angiogenesis, 2017, made from vellum and dyed vellum. It featured in the Jerwood Makers Open.

Pathogenesis was created in 2016/17 and is fashioned from vellum, supernatural vellum, fish skin and veg tan leather. All images courtesy of the artist.