I love the tactility of collage – the cutting of paper, the sticky glue. I find the process equally meditative and enthralling as each work in progress is like a puzzle for which you aren’t sure what the final image is going to be until it takes form in front of you. It involves a lot of searching, trial and error, and most importantly: play. Collage is about experimenting with images and the way they interact and juxtapose one another to create new meaning. It’s about using symbolism in the remixing of existing ideas and stories to provide an alternate point of view – one that reflects a different angle, another story, that the viewer may not have considered previously.
In an age where we produce and abandon stuff endlessly, where new technologies replace the old and our methods of communication and access to knowledge become increasingly ephemeral and intangible, the ways of our past continue to take up space. For me, it is important to upcycle and reuse otherwise discarded items. Everything I make use of in my collage work is found at yard sales, in garbage bins at the side of the road, thrift stores and musty basements. These objects have often outlived their intended purpose and are unwanted for one reason or another. The supposed rationality for why they have been abandoned – the water damage, rips and tears, outdated information – are what draw me in to the materials I use in my work. These quirks often influence the new life these images are given as remixed works of art.
Collage is also a little risky. It dances that line between originality and copyright infringement. It uses appropriation as the foundation on which new stories can be built. It challenges ideas of ownership and permanency. Collectively, we have imagined and created all of the meaning that we rely on in this world to make sense of our nature as human beings. Nothing here belongs to us outside of the definition of ownership that we have created. In this way, collage and surrealism go hand in hand as they work together to provide an arena to explore the what ifs and whys of our reality.