With just a pair of scissors, I create intricate, hand cut collages which reflect my Victorian obsession with faeries, flora and fauna. From my large collection of books, prints and pages that are antique, forgotten and foxed with age, I cut out images, categorize them and then eventually piece them together like a complex paper jigsaw. My collages are places where beauty is strange, creatures are curious and a sense of wonder prevails.
The female face is central to much of my artwork and often acts as a reflection of the natural and sometimes magical world. She can be surrounded by birds, fish and butterflies or submerged in a dense wallpaper pattern which either represents her prison or her liberation.
I have recently found that my collages are becoming more orderly and methodical–neatly arranged, strange objects fill the page like rows of paper microscope slides or specimens in a tiny cabinet of curiosity. My need to obsessively cut can sometimes outweigh the composition of the piece, so I am often left with piles of abandoned cuttings–lost bones, moths, fungi, feathers, coral, shells and butterfly wings. Eventually these too will find a place to reside.
Katie McCann is an English collage artist living in Berkeley, California. Her collages have been exhibited in the USA and in Europe. She is one of 50 featured female collage artists in the new book, Collage By Women (Promopress Editions, 2019). Her collages can also be seen on a utility box in the City of Berkeley for the city’s public art project. Katie has shown her award winning collages in many solo and group shows including, most recently, “The World of Frida” exhibition at The Bedford Gallery in California.