COLLAGE & MIXED MEDIA ARTIST
I think I’m a collagist simply because I love images. I’m a magpie for ephemera, searching out and collecting interesting visual material. The poetic quality of vintage material has a particular draw for me.
There’s often a shrouded sense of sadness in old images. They are memories that have been forgotten and discarded as they lost their immediate relationship to the world. Through a combination of ripping, cutting, layering, and juxtaposition, they are given a new context and energy. Life is breathed into them and they can yield a new poetical narrative.
Collage explores the deconstruction and reconstruction of images. The process allows me to play conceptually with a theme or thought. By deconstructing the original reality of an image I can begin to let it tell a different story. As the pieces develop they take on a life of their own, forming narratives that are, ultimately, completed in the viewer’s imagination.
My work draws deeply on my own experiences and environment. It seeks to explore the sense of unknowing in a constantly shifting world. Many of the images are dreamlike; fiction and reality blend, well-known tropes merge and meanings shift. Multi-layered images arise which dwell on the fragility and instability exposed when old certainties are questioned. At times my work may appear dark, but I always strive to include a sense of hope.
What the viewer reads into the work is as important as my intent when I construct it. What seems difficult to one may appear beautiful to another. What is innocent in the eyes of one might be provocative to someone else. Though there are personal stories behind some of the pictures, each should become personal to the viewer.
My influences are widespread. I studied Fine Art and Cultural Studies but then taught on a Graphic Design degree course, so I have a real passion for both art and design. I’ve been inspired by the DADA movement, Russian Constructivism and the Bauhaus. I’ve also developed a passion for layout, grids and structure alongside Swiss typography and designers like Jan Tschichold and Josef Müller-Brockmann. And in terms of Collage, my influences include Hannah Höch, John Stezaker, Max Ernst, Peter Kennard, Matthew Rose, Martha Rosler, Fred Free, Katrien De Blauwer, Lizzie Gill and Ricardo Tomas’.