Collage

Seeing is Believing

Seeing is believing is a collection of collages that I have been working on since 2009. As a challenge to my creativity, I have set myself a couple of simple rules while working on them. Firstly, they are made using real, physical tools only; nothing is scanned, copied or manipulated on a computer. Secondly, I try to make them look as close to a real photograph as I can, with matching perspective, colours and shadows, despite the restrictions created by the first rule. Thirdly, I take all images from the same source, National Geographic, which limits my available source material even though they have in truth published an enormous amount of beautiful images. As a result of these rules, I cannot approach this work with a fixed idea already in my head. Even if I tried to, it would be almost impossible to find all the right image elements I would need for a specific idea. Instead I have to start work with an open mind, leafing through my stacks of old NGs and picking out images that speak to me, until suddenly an unexpected combination jumps out at me and demands to be put together.

Each collage in this series is handmade, with scalpel and glue. There is only one original made of every collage, no copies and no edition. They are mounted in simple black frames with a black card edging. On the card, I write a kind of caption. This is not a title, but rather a sentence that comes into my mind as I assemble the selected elements into an image. Often, the meaning of the image surprises myself as much as anyone else, one reason why I love this challenging way of working. I believe that setting up these limitations have made me hit upon ideas that were buried deep in my subconscious mind, instead of favouring those floating around on the top of my head.

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