I enjoy working in Collage because, like the music we play, it lends itself to improvisation, experimentation and collaboration with others. At the same time the discipline of deconstruction and reconstruction of media into new forms and meanings subverts but is reliant on the past - on sampling the products and ideas of dominant social discourse and mainstream media and re-imagining them into new narratives that challenge history, the now and and our assumptions about reality. Collage blends lines and shapes and colour into visually engaging pictures that, like stills from a film are meticulously constructed but meaningless without the context of the past, the parts and the piecing together. It offers a keyhole view of an alternative reality. I am a collage artist that shies away from the traditional but chaotic mixed media approach to collage preferring precision cut lines and placement, with hours spent combing through images to find the right tone, texture and lines to flow seamlessly like an analogue photoshop image where it's not always clear where one part finishes and the next begins. As a mirror of my lived experience, my collages incorporate themes of environmentalism, social justice, feminism and elements that suggest movement, journey and growth.
Josephine Raftery is a local artist working primarily in collage and sound art. She grew up in Toowoomba when conservative politics, alternative music and a late 80's punk aesthetic stewed into a rich cultural scene centered around a few live music venues, local bands and a seminal local record store. Leaving in her 20's to explore Australia's great cities, she was further influenced by street art, experimental music and cut and paste techniques that led to a practice of making politically motivated art from what could be found on the street. On returning home to Toowoomba she joined the artist collective 'music your mind will love you' - a group that has become a defining influence in her current work supporting both solo and collaborative projects.
Influences for the collages include Dadaism, in particular the artist Hannah Hoch for her use of the medium for feminist political messaging and Man Ray for his experimentation. In general polymaths inspire for their use of a range of techniques and tools to manipulate form and create meaning rather than becoming specialists in one medium. Kurt Schwitters is an example. While abstract and surrealist elements feature the style is also influenced by modern digital techniques such as photoshop.
Women in Art - 2018 Group Exhibition - Australian Cultural Library (Toowoomba)
Filthy Cut - 2019 Group Exhibition - Elevator ARI (Lismore)
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