The artist Collagism from Runway Gallery – a new online gallery for buying art – explains how her inspiration comes from what it means to be a woman
Collagism, aka Holly-anne Buck, is one of the Runway Gallery’s select artists. She produces large collage portraits of women that are provocative, thoughtful and, she explains, ‘slightly creepy and a little bit funny’. This London-based Australian artist also does video and installation work, and makes clothing and street art. Her work has been displayed at the Tate and in 2019 she will be at Kolaj Fest in New Orleans.
How would you describe your creative process?
Wherever I am, I collect materials from that area – from friends, from the street, or sometimes I buy them from markets or charity stalls. It’s recycling. I’m only interested in things really of the now, so that any images I make represent where I am at that time. I make small studies, which could take me a couple of hours, but then I’ll scan them and digitally manipulate them in Photoshop.
How would you describe your style?
Usually there is a central figure coming out of the darkness. I’m heavily influenced by the Dutch Masters – the
chiaroscuro, from darkness to light. Often, they’re self-portraits. I’m trying to make faces that have never been seen before but yet somehow trigger a memory.
What else is a strong influence?
The Dada movement and Hannah Höch. Then artists like Yoko Ono, Laurie Anderson, Frida Kahlo… Cindy Sherman is a huge influence. But then, of course, there are my travels – from living in Mexico, New York and London. I think if you look closely, all of that iconography comes through.
Do you have a favourite possession?
I’m actually a minimalist. I have my laptop, I have my Gopro to make videos and my scissors. Because I travel a lot I can’t be attached to possessions, although I do keep my original collages. They’re enormous works and they’re all digital files – icloud is my friend.
How do people react to your work?
A lot of my work actually ends up hanging in people’s bedrooms, and I love the idea and intimacy of that.
Are you a political animal?
I’m an activist for women. I particularly want to make images that show our independent strength, the tenderness and femininity. People can look at my portraits and say, that’s what being a woman in 2018/19 is all about.
Do you have any advice for younger artists?
My advice is really simple and always the same: make the best work that you can, and then repeat.
What advice would you give to someone buying art for the home?
I believe Marie Kondo, the decluttering guru, has it right: if it sparks joy in you, that is what you should buy.
Full Bloom collage, £1,200, by Collagism