© Marc Hagan-Guirey
Posted: Mon Oct 29 2012

If you've ever made a paper snowflake, then you've done kirigami. But in the nimble hands of London-based 'paper architect' and horror-movie fan Marc Hagan-Guirey, the fiddly, Japanese art of 'origami with scissors' becomes something quite spooktacular.

'Horrorgami' - Hagan-Guirey's first exhibition - showcases 13 miniature paper models of iconic locations from cult horror movies including 'The Exorcist', 'The Shining' and 'The Addams Family'. The works are presented in lightboxes so that, after dark, their silhouetted forms appear spectral and ethereal.

With each haunted house cut from a single sheet of A4 paper, Hagan-Guirey admits the process of making horrorgami is a bit of a nightmare, with some pieces requiring weeks to craft. He takes screengrabs from the film, sketches the building from different angles, creates a flat plan on a computer and then makes several prototypes to trial different folding and cutting techniques. The final pop-ups are often no more than ten to 15 centimetres high.

Hagan-Guirey told Time Out the project was inspired by a passion for of horror movies as a child. That fascination combined with his love of architecture on a trip to LA two years ago, when he visited Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House. The exotic mansion was used in 'Blade Runner' and 'House on Haunted Hill'.

Hagan-Guirey explained, 'I have always loved that building. My friend had got us access by pretending I was a prospective buyer, and I was so embarrassed. But I was really captivated when we walked round, it's amazing.'

On his return to England Hagan-Guirey decided to make a paper model of the house to thank his friend. This first model ignited a passion that led Hagan-Guirey to quit his job heading up the creative studio of an advertising agency to focus on his new project. And he's got more models planned after this exhibition, 'I'm really excited about my next project, I want to stay within movies but not horror. I can't tell you what that might involve, though.' Adhesive may not be allowed in kirigami, but we're glued to our seats to hear more.

THE BOTTOM LINE: An exhibition that illuminates the dark art of paper engineering.