Scandinavia is ace. They make beautifully dark drama, have the best work to life balance on the planet and their furniture is sharper than one of Cary Grant's ties. Very much the opposite to the UK, where we have Hollyoaks, Orwellian working conditions and DFS.
It's also home to The Scandinavian Collage Museum, which is in Norway. Their latest exhibit, 'Like Me as You Do' features work from collage artists all over the globe. I'm one of them. Imagine that?
The piece I submitted is below, and can be viewed in the flesh at the museum until 26th March. If anyone's interested in buying it afterwards, fire me a message.
They do a little interview on all the featured artists to delve into their warped, fantastical minds. Here's mine transcribed:
Who are you?
An illustrator, collage artist, whose work occasionally pops up around town. I have a genuine desire to put a message across whilst also making people have a giggle at the absurdity of life. We live in a truly hideous time, economically, politically and socially, and I feel art is a perfect medium to make people take stock of that. If I can be part of that in a little way then I'll have achieved something in this life.
What work do you most enjoy doing?
I fell into collage a year or so ago. I have always illustrated and printed, and found that collage worked well with my silkscreen prints. I soon realised that collage was an incredibly effective medium to create work that I want to put across. As for a style, I enjoy minimalist work as well as more complicated surrealist stuff, depending what the project is. The Pop Art movement, as well as the Punk ethos, are a continued influence.
What's your favourite collage artist or work?
The Dada artist Hannah Hoch, I feel, made collage an actual art form rather than something people did as a past time. I can look at her work for hours and always see something new. Peter Blake, Eduardo Paolozzi and Richard Hamilton took the way of working with collage to a higher level. Peter Blake in particular is a different gravy. His work is consistently stunning, and he mixes media better than anyone out there.
Away from collage, I am fascinated by the Atelier Popular movement. These were a bunch of students who thought 'fuck this' and used their gift to drive forward social change whilst creating posters that are cooler than Steve McQueen's fridge.
What memorable responses have you had from your work?
Like all artists, I enjoy hearing from people who dig my work. When you get that it says that person is on your wavelength and, as such, validates what you do. I equally love offending people with my work. Similarly to the first point, whoever doesn't get it to the point of being openly offended deserves to feel like that and my art has worked again.
Before Christmas I did an art fair that happened to be in Liverpool Cathedral. Aside from some great local artists, and plenty of people who liked my work and were interesting to engage with, there were lots of craft stalls which I can't really abide. As such, there was a lot of the craft crew who would stop by my stall and make their annoyance at my stuff felt. These are the same wankers who think a 'Keep Calm and Carry On' poster is edgy and looks good in their kitchen. One woman looked at my 'COCK' screen print and asked if I had permission to sell something so vulgar in a house of God. I told her that me selling a rude print would've been far from the worst think that had happened in the building.
What is your dream project?
I'm asked this a fair bit and I always give some daft answer like 'illustrating Jeremy Clarkson's execution' to hide the fact I don't actually know the answer. If I like the vibe of something I will undertake it. Without sounding sanctimonious, I take everything I do as a big project. To that end, I hope to keep on getting my work to as many people as possible and making them think, take action and laugh.
The exhibit runs from 25th January to 26th March.