At Harvey Nichols, a talented colleague is never far away! Meet the multi-talented Caitlin Hoole: not only is she working in Menswear in our Bristol store and an honourable delegate of our HN Academy, she is also a pretty marvelous collage artist. The Bristol local from Blackburn shows us some of her enticing artworks and spills the beans on the art of "collaging."
What is it that you do as collage artist?
In my free time I like to gather images that I can use to create collages. All my collages are created by hand so I have to be very careful when cutting images out of magazines because one wrong cut can ruin the whole picture. My goal is to create surreal photomontages.
How does the process of making collages work?
I extract and piece together images that are risky and interesting. I spend hours flicking though magazines and then I start coming up with ideas for the images I find. For example, I saw a shark and to me it looked like it was smiling so I gave it a human eye to accentuate this. I cut out anything that catches my eye, and if I can't use it straight away I store it in an archive.
What are your main sources of imagery?
Most of my images come from National Geographic magazines from the 70’s and 80’s, but I also like to use vintage photographs that are either from my family’s own collections or that I find in charity or junk shops. I like turning these into new stories of strangers.
When did you start collaging?
I’ve been collaging for longer than I can remember. My mum has kept little collages that I had made when I was about 3 years old, which are just little bits of tissue paper and card stuck down and decorated with a sticker or two. I started taking collage seriously when I was 16 and doing an art GCSE- that made me realize that I wanted to produce art everyday. So I then went on to do art full time at college and then on to graduate university with a First Class Hons degree in Contemporary Art.
Where have you displayed your work?
I have had my work hosted on a number of websites and art newsletters. Some of my work has also been published in printed media; most notably, in “Green” book by The Collage Collective Co. I have also exhibited my art in a few venues around Bath and in the future I would like to arrange for my work to be exhibited here in Bristol.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I take inspiration from my everyday life, the positive and the negative. Vintage magazines and photographs that are thrown out and unwanted inspire me; I breathe a new life into them with a contemporary twist.
What’s the most challenging part of being a collage artist?
I’d say the hardest part is finding the imagery to piece together. Sometimes I think I have found the perfect image match, but the sizing of the pictures could be wrong and the idea simply wont work. This can also be frustrating but I like the challenges you are faced with when creating hand-cut collages. If it was all done though Photoshop it would be easier, but for me it would take all the fun out of it!