Artis­tic li­cence

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

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