A celebration of the skill and art of collage with artists from across the UK and beyond.
I make mixed media drawings full of playful marks and layers of texture. My work leans towards abstraction but still has an essence of the source of where it came from.
My current work investigates the shapes and structure found in nature and the world around me, using observational drawing to investigate how form and space change due to elements like light and time. My working method involves a puzzling process of creating drawings and prints full of expressive marks, then using the destructive action of ripping to reshape and find a harmony. A bit like finding the end of a tangled thread, so I can untangle it.
I have dedicated many years to working with this technique. I always work manually: I’m interested in scissors, glue, and the exploration of various materials (ready made). I work small, medium and large format, but always applying handmade collage techniques, without redimensions or digital retouching. I usually mount my pieces on rigid support, so that they become volumetric figures, small sculptures made of paper, cardboard or wood. The female figure is largely the central focus of my work. I also work on the idea of generic diversity and other social issues, always with surrealistic language, and allowing total freedom of interpretation to the observer. I like people to think for themselves, to have their own opinion about what they observe. I am inspired by artistic movements such as Dadaism, ready-made, pop art, street art, and anything that seeks to transgress what has been socially established as “normal and correct.” I was born in Donosti (Basque Country – Spain). I have lived for many years in Barcelona, where I studied graphic design at the emblematic Massana School. During the last years I have lived and worked temporarily also in Formentera, Madrid and Berlin. Nowadays I’m living and working between Madrid and Barcelona.
Dead artists don't paint! I turned 50 last year, which makes you reflect on life, dreams and achievements. "If not now, when?!" I am a natural born procrastinator and have let my inner artist stay hidden as I listened to those who said "you can't make a living being an artist, don't be silly!" Now, with a lot of carrot and stick from my friends, I am finally letting everything out! My fascinations with human and plant forms, with shapes, spaces and patterns are now flowing. Collage is a perfect art form for me, as I have always loved to experiment with a wide variety of media and techniques. It is absorbing, expressive and playful. I believe art makes a home. It creates a mood, lifts and inspires on a daily basis.
Mary Sewell is a visual artist working from her studio at Portland Works a former cutlery factory in Sheffield. Her practice is an organic and open work structure where she uses painting, collage, text from poems she has written and found objects to experiment with processes and ideas. She is interested in what is hidden, invisible or yet unformed and the relationship between that inner and the outer space. Her practice is an exploration into the creative potential of the unconscious mind, where she aims to connect and reveal something of what is beneath the skin.
My work uses collage, drawing and printmaking to explore the deconstruction and reconstruction of images. This process allows me to conceptually play with a theme or thought. By deconstructing the reality of image I can then begin to tell my own story by creating a new poetical narrative. My works appear as dreamlike images in which fiction and reality meet, well-known tropes merge, and meanings shift. These multilayered images arise in which the fragility and instability of our seemingly certain reality is questioned. The pictures create their own stories, as I develop the pieces they take on a life of their own, forming narratives that are completed in the viewer’s imagination. What the viewer reads into each image is as important as what was in my own head as I constructs them; they can be interpreted in different ways depending on who is looking at them. So what seems difficult to one person can appear beautiful to another, what is innocent in the eyes of one viewer can appear provocative or dark to another. There are personal stories behind some of the pictures but each should then become personal to the viewer, the original narrative does not need to be specifically understood.
Benjamin West is a multi-disciplinary artist using nature as his main inspiration. Through the mediums of collage, photography, sound, film, and scanography, his practice examines our ever-changing relationship with nature, and investigates the consequences of human activity upon our surroundings. Following the principles of natural observational science he passionately collects old books and old photographs. The fragmented, lost, or unwanted resources are combined to examine the human impact upon the natural environment. Genetic modification, pollution, and urbanisation define the works in this exhibition. Whilst his work possesses a playfulness, it is also West’s intention to communicate a serious environmental and political statement. West was born in Alton, Hampshire in 1974. He graduated from London College of Communication in 1996 with Ba (Hons) in Graphic and Media Design. In 2003 he went on to complete a Postgraduate Diploma in Photography at Falmouth Art College. He has since been involved in many creative projects using a variety of mediums in the UK and around the world.
I am a collector of stories, poems, fragments of things. This spills out into my art work, whether it is in painting, collage, assemblage or sculpture the work is always about things found that I am fascinated with. This could be a scrap of a photo, a discarded letter, a story told or a song. I use layers of paper, fabric, found objects, meaning and metaphor to tell stories. My work has an earthy imperfect nature - I nearly always use natural materials. Themes include mending, and the beauty of the broken and damaged. I love repairs to be visible, to be celebrated, often using gold or red thread. My work is frequently contained like reliquaries, I am interested in what we consider sacred and how we preserve it. I have also run the Gallery in Masham since 1994.