Papercuts: Laura Secord’s Marathon

If you’re Canadian, you’re likely familiar with Laura Secord, the Niagara housewife who ran 26 miles through enemy territory to warn the British and their aboriginal allies of an impending attack by American forces in the war of 1812.  Artist and designer Barbara Klunder, a Secord descendant, tells the inspiring tale in exquisite papercuts at the Rodman Hall Art Centre  at Brock University in St. Catharines,  the region where the Canadian heroine trekked through frontier forest 200 years ago this week. (Above: Detail, Marathon Dress)


Klunder wrote and illustrated this 6” by 6” handcrafted book with French fold pages and foil-stamped front and back covers. Book images are from Reactor, the design firm where Klunder is associated.  Other images in this post are from her Laura Secord exhibit in November at Toronto’s David Kaye gallery.


-St. Laura

-Marathon Dress
-War of 1812

Barbara Klunder is well known internationally for her bold graphic style, political messages and provocative imagery.  This current exhibit at Brock University commemorates the bicentennial of the War of 1812.

Barbara Klunder’s website, here.

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There are 14 comments

    1. boomerontario

      This artist’s papercuts on all topics are phenomenal. The Laura Secord exhibit is especially engrossing – and btw, the War of 1812 was actually declared 200 years ago today.

  1. michellecfecit

    looks like the images could be made into wallpaper.
    very much have a william morris feel to them.

    i find the cut-out technique really lends itself well
    to the subject matter, has a skeletal effect. & it was
    only on second glance that i noticed the skeletons
    laid out in the pages of the open book!

    i see the date june 22 on the skirt of the dress.
    this has a special meaning to me, in a sad way.
    my mother passed away 5 years ago on june 22.

    1. boomerontario

      I agree with you on the cut-out style being coherent with that era, and the kind of gothic darkness of Secord’s mission. This artist did a superb job of capturing the “look” of that time, I think. (So sorry Michelle that this week brings you such a sad memory)

  2. michellecfecit

    thanks boomeron
    i’m just realizing another connection now,
    that my mom loved going to laura secord’s
    for ice cream & chocolate. this was her one indulgence!

    & i just google searched laura secord & discovered that
    my middle child shares her birthday, september 13.
    another connection ’cause meara, even at 10 years old,
    is dependable, she’ll get the job done!!

    1. boomerontario

      I’d forgotten about Laura Secord cookbooks. Certainly saw a few of them growing up. But now, I can only reliably conjure up the chocolates (probably because they’re in virtually every major mall).

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