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STAGE COLLAGES

 

Through my academic course in stage and costume design, as well as many years of working in that field, I have found a path to my artistic practice. My professional experience of working for theatre and the attendant work in creating designs for stage, décor and costumes from scratch are an influence both on my practice and on the contents of my work.


The subjects I address on my stages – Stage Collages / Theatrical Collages – often revolve around female identity and the various roles the wider context of being a woman bestows on us. The idea of costumes, which assist in embodying roles on stage, play a major part in my works. What fascinates me is how our identity is comprised of a multitude of roles, which we bring to life. For me, collage is the ideal medium in which to achieve this, to represent the fragmentary and contradictory nature of our identities. The evolution of an identity across the span of our lives, which sees new roles enter and vanish from our lives, is of particular interest to me.


My creative process alternates between analogue and digital steps. Beginning with the analogue cut out of motifs from magazines and photographs, the first analogue collage is but preparation for the biggest and, for me, most crucial step in the process: the analogue collage is photographed digitally to be processed further in the digital realm. By digitally cropping, adding, drawing and painting I create a new pictorial world based on the photographed collages. This process involves various levels and transparencies, which the software on my iPad affords me. The process from which the work emerges can be compared to the constructions for the stage, where backdrops, curtains and veils can help design various levels of scenery. The next step sees me transferring the works back into an analogue medium when I print the collages on Hahnemühle Fine Art Paper. Some works are completed after this step, while others I continue to work on in analogue form by cutting out particular fragments or cutting up the entire piece before reconstructing it.