What I Used To Be

Which tools did you use for the creation of this piece?
The artwork is a hand-cut paper collage created using vintage magazines. I used scalpel blades and glue. And mounted the final work to the inside cover of a torn book.

What was the creative process behind it?
I generally have a rough idea of what I want to say with a piece before I begin searching through images. I’ll cut out images that feel right in that moment and create a pile of working ideas. I then begin to place faces over other shapes and off-cuts, looking for a connection. This is when I start to see parts of two or three images line up, or when a feeling or even a new idea comes to me in the process. In the case of this image I remember arriving at the connection between the hand and the screaming face quite quickly. I left these two pieces on my table for a few days and worked on other artworks keeping it in mind to return to. When I cut out the woman’s head from a new image and turned the paper over to reveal the silhouette I realised it would be perfect for the final artwork.

What feelings come to you when you look at it?
It was created for a solo exhibition titled Without Nothing. The exhibition was an exploration of internal dialogue and some deep personal reflection of my life in that moment. It’s about the idea that we all have a voice within us that we often can’t release or won’t allow ourselves to listen to. It’s a powerful image, but it’s not meant to be depressing or as freaky as it may appear. It could also be the opposite though, and perhaps be allowing the inner voice to scream out and to say the things we want to say. I like the viewer to make their own interpretation of my artworks. So there is never a right or wrong idea of what they mean.

“We all have a voice within us that we often can’t release or won’t allow ourselves to listen to.”

What do you like most about this piece and why?
I love the simplicity of this artwork. I created it at a time of experimentation and change in my process of making collages. I was intentionally trying to work with only two or three images in order to tell a story or express an idea. This was one of the first artworks that I created that worked immediately and I knew didn’t need any more thought. I also love that it’s owned by a friend of mine and is hanging on the wall of her mother’s house in Sweden. This artwork is actually pretty important to me for a few reasons. It stands out to me as one of my most memorable works of the last few years, and I feel like I’m trying to recreate the feeling this piece gave me when it was made in a lot of the work since then. It’s really simple, but also really powerful. Which is what I’m trying to achieve each time I make an artwork.

What were your references, influences or inspirations during your creative process?
My main influence during any creative process is the music I’m listening to. I remember distinctly that I was listening to a lot of Nick Cave at the time of making this artwork. Depending on what music I’m listening to it can help me to go into a deeper introspection of myself or take me to the creative level of thought I need to be. Artistically the process and the materials used are strongly influenced by collaborating with artists in Argentina the year before.

What did you enjoy the most about the process?
I really enjoyed exploring new processes and trying things I wouldn’t normally have allowed myself to do. I was experimenting with a new way of making collage and with different materials and even with large scale work. I had a great studio at the time, and I remember I was very happy with all the work I was creating there.

What was the hardest thing for you and how did you solve it?
The hardest part of making any collage is knowing when to stop adding things. This would have been true of this piece as well. I may have had to stop myself from sticking the hand and face down into another larger piece. As I often have two or three artworks in progress at the same time. But I’m glad I left it out and allowed some time to find it’s final place on its own.

Where would you like to see it exhibited?
The artwork was exhibited a few years ago at a gallery called China Heights in Sydney, Australia. Of course, I’d love to see it hanging in a museum sometime in the future, so other people can see it.