Paul Johnson, “Flying Cathedral”

Image 1 The Flying Cathedral  – front cover

Image 2 The Flying Cathedral – back cover

Image 3 The Flying Cathedral – open inside view

Image 4 The Flying Cathedral – open extended rear view


Paul Johnson
Cheadle Hulme, Stockport, UK

Flying Cathedral
Pop-up paper engineering

36cm x36cm x 27cm
36cm x 32cm x 14cm

The Flying Cathedral. I have taken the 1950s classic French film – The Red Balloon as my starting point, but here it is a cathedral that is lifted off the ground by balloons rather than a small boy. The famous wooded churches of Russia – many of them sadly falling down – is a sub-theme, so the cathedral appears to be collapsing. Pop-up storybook narrative – a small boy, grandson of the cathedral janitor saves the building by tying balloons to it so that it floats up into the sky. The story, illustrations, paper engineering, sculptural cover are all by the book artist. Saunders Waterford watercolour paper is dyed with industrial textile dyes with gold leaf and pen and ink overlays. None of the pop-ups have folds – all units joined by interlocking units and dovetail joints.