Hi, I’m Stephen and I’d like to introduce myself and tell you a bit about my work. I am based in Teddington, UK, and have been working in collage for a few years now.
I started with local scenes, pretty much by accident, when I was asked to provide art works for a local exhibition at the same time as I was looking to dispose of 50 or 60 glossy colour magazines (long story).
Anyway, I loved the process and I had some great feedback for the first two works (Kingston Bridge and Hampton Court Boleyn Gate) and woke one morning with the idea of creating a panoramic work depicting the whole of Hampton Court Palace. I cycled down to Cigarette Island, opposite the Palace, and took 20 or so photographs, from which I sketched the outline and proceeded to create the work.
After this there has been no stopping me. The Shard followed soon after, Stonehenge, Glastonbury Tor … please do have a look at the gallery.
Collage suits my temperament- I enjoy the immediacy of the process which lets me experiment with colours and shapes as I go along. I photograph each stage to give me a different perspective - most of the pieces will be viewed initially from a distance, but need to work close to as well. I step back every so often and walk around the room to take in all angles.
Collage is simple but not fast! The large pieces (Hampton Court Palace, The Shard, Strawberry Hill House) can take up to a month. It’s a surprisingly physical process, reaching to all corners, and wrangling the image from cut paper feels like an alchemy, I often get a surprise myself when I step back.
I work with good quality paper (I bought 700 advertising posters to cut up) and use PVA to both apply and seal down the artwork onto acid free mounting card.
I frame my own work (I’ve worked as a picture framer for many years, and have my own workshop), which gives me a certain freedom. London Skyline at Night has remote control LED lights embedded into the sky, I wouldn’t expect anyone else to deal with framing that!