This Little Rescue Book for Women in Crisis is a collection of 70 whimsical paper cuttings, cut with tiny curved nail scissors by artist Catherine Winkler Rayroud. The images depict her journey as a woman and her need to make sense of what it means to live in a female body.
Catherine Winkler Rayroud is an award-winning artist who for the past 35 years has been practicing the aged art of paper cutting (Scherenschnitt), which was imbued in her while she grew up in her native country of Switzerland.
Catherine uses a tiny pair of curved nail scissors to produce intricate and detailed paper cuttings that are the expression of a searching soul finding endless inspiration in the world around her. Despite the time-consuming aspect of her art (she can work up to six months on a single piece), Catherine doesn’t seem to be restricted by the technical challenges of this unusual mode of expression. Each piece is meticulously created out of a single sheet of paper to convey a message often underlined by a subtle and witty sense of humor. Catherine’s paper cuttings will not leave many viewers indifferent, as her themes are wide-ranging and often address contemporary issues.
Having a Swiss father, an English mother, and a Canadian grandmother was a recipe for an unusual life, even if as a child, I often found that I lacked a sense of belonging to any culture. Only many years later would I realize what an amazing privilege it is to have this cultural diversity and openness to the world, and the chance to speak several languages. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of having a multinational background is the ability to compare how people live in these different countries. In England in the 1960s, women were already more liberated than the women I knew in Switzerland, and my Canadian grandmother was probably ahead of her time in many aspects and very much at odds with the world around her. From an early age, I had the perception that as a woman, I could have a life beyond the traditional role of a homemaker, though the silent messages I received in Switzerland were somewhat contradictory.