I use antique books as my main source material and for the past seven years, I have devoted myself to the technique of cut-paper collage.
In these works, either the book covers themselves, or the antique blank paper found in old books serve as the ‘canvas’ upon which I assemble the intricately cut-out images.
Culled from a wide range of sources, my visual lexicon is composed of diverse images gleaned from old encyclopedias, medical texts, children’s books, popular science, technical manuals, paper dolls and antique photographs to name a few.
Because of the high quality of the color plates and lithography found in the actual printings, I prefer to use original found materials. Copied or scanned images cannot come close to the originals in terms of overall visual impact. The aged paper offers a beautiful natural patina and a muted palette I find particularly attractive. I feel that these older books and photographs are especially compelling as they each possess their own unique history, having passed through many hands before coming into my possession.
Recently, I have begun to make use of archival form core to lift elements of my work off the page. I find the three-dimensional effect lends additional visual drama to my work and helps to showcase the highly meticulous nature of my cuttings.
The fact that the finished pieces are generally quite small allows me to add a wealth of intricate details hidden throughout my work.
Birds are an obvious theme repeated throughout many of my works, often representing spiritual messengers, while my machines more often than not tend to reflect a degree of inner turmoil or conflict in dealing with the outside world. The children, of course, almost always express more of a personal narrative, hailing back to my earliest childhood fears and nightmares.
The titles are also of particular importance in adding context and helping the viewer to create their own inner dialogue. Like reading a book, each piece becomes its own frozen drama or illustration for a story meant to reflect a visual manifestation of psychological, emotional or spiritual states.