Digital & Analogue Collage.
I am a self-taught artist who creates digital and analogue collages to make fun, whimsical, emotional and mindful images that reflect my love for colour, texture, and the complexities of life.
I was an anxious and shy child who always felt like I was two steps to the left and behind everyone. I struggled to understand where I fit and how to navigate through life like a normal person. Raised in the 1960’s and 70’s in Canada, our patriarchal military family life was a throwback to the Victorian era, with its extreme gender roles, repressed sexuality, and emotional incapacity. As the girl in the family, my role was to take care of my parents’ and brothers’ needs. My family life was fraught with sadness and trauma, so I lived in my head and created a vivid fantasy world where things made sense to me, and where I could express my deep and abiding love for the planet and its people.
I loved fairy tales and stories of beautiful girls being strong and triumphant. Sheherezade, Joan of Arc, Anne of Green Gables and Jane Eyre were my heroes.
My work explores how disparate, “normal”, everyday things can fit together to become beautiful, fantastical, head scratching, puzzling compositions rich with colour, texture, humour, intrigue and compassion. I put together each piece like I’m doing a puzzle but without any guidelines or reference. I love to create images to look believable but with something a bit off. My pieces are stories about my struggles with mental health and how I fit in the world.
My influences come from the natural environment and human society, history, texture, colour, folk art, surreal art, fashion, women, science fiction and fantasy. I am passionate about justice, equality, representation, spirituality and peaceful living, and these themes are always expressed in my creations.
As our world becomes more baffling, we’re all looking for meaning in life. Sometimes there is nothing we can do but embrace the absurd and make our own meaning.
Comments by Stephan J.