This article originally appeared in the World Collage Day 2019 Special Edition alongside a dozen profiles of collage artists from around the world and a call to arts from Kolaj Editor Ric Kasini Kadour, “Let us take art out of the corners of academia, out of hallowed halls of museums, out of luxury palaces, and out the grip of those who wish to control and manipulate it for its value. Let us take art out of its cage.” ORDER A COPY
FROM THE WORLD COLLAGE DAY 2019 SPECIAL EDITION
Anywhere & All the Time
Emma Anna | Barranquilla, Atlantico, Colombia
Emma Anna embodies the “collage anywhere” ethos. She has shown her work in public galleries and private spaces, libraries, street footpaths and Chinese restaurants. When she fell in love with a Latin American painter/poet/dreamer, she left her native Australia to moved to Colombia where the two lovers opened a creative space on the shore of the Colombian Caribbean. She is currently working on a book called Hiroshima that is inspired by her 2018 visit to Japan. “Due to crazy life-threatening storms I found myself stranded in Hiroshima for a week, barely able to leave my hotel room,” writes Anna. “All I could do was surf the internet, watch BBC World News and cut up the ephemera that had formed into piles in the corners of my luggage.”
Her life was not supposed to be this way. “My father was a commercial artist and illustrator in the 1970s and 1980s and noticing my penchant for cut’n’paste, actually warned me against a career in the arts,” writes Anna. “I ended up studying news journalism at university, but eventually, graphic design. Finally, I combined both disciplines whilst working in an architectural practice as a communications manager, a job I quit a decade ago when I decided to pursue further study for a Masters’ in Public Art.” The journey of most artists is idiosyncratic, unique unto itself. Anna had used collage in her pre-artist professional life and reconnected with the medium through an ex-boyfriend who kept a collage diary. “I had been using collage as a form of therapy—as an accessible creative outlet when I found myself employed in ‘creative’ roles that were anything but creative.” Her current practice focuses entirely on collage.
Being project-centered helps Anna organize her creative output. The Magician is from her “Tarot of the Golden Scissors” series which will be a set of cards and a guidebook when complete. Daily or routine practice is key to her success. “In 2010, I made a project called ‘News Disarray’ that involved dissecting the Saturday morning newspaper each week and making an executive summary of the week just past—both of the personal and the political realms—in collage, within 2 hours. It seemed a great way to combine my interests in art therapy, intuitive techniques, journalism and collage. At the end of the year I had fifty-two collages to add to my portfolio that were stylistically connected and also provided me with memories of my life over the past 12 months.”
Emma Anna originally studied print journalism and international politics at university, graduating with a degree in Mass Communications. She graduated with a Master’s in Public Art. She now lives and works in Barranquilla, Colombia, where she and her partner operate an independent creative space, La Casa Verde. Among her awards is the Melbourne Prize for Urban Sculpture’s Public Artwork Design Concept Prize for a project proposal called The Elocwean Rainbow. In September 2019, her public artwork, Sol Yantra, was selected for the 45th National Salon of Artists of Colombia in Bogota. In November-December 2019, she curated “Los Elementos” at La Casa Verde. Learn more about the artist on her Kolaj Magazine Artist Directory page and on Facebook @emmaannachatter