Pop Culture Innocence
Gone Horribly Wrong


Spotlight on Collage Trading Card Artist Laurie Langford

Chatham, Ontario collagist Laurie Langford inserts subversive humour into her installations to prick debate on contemporary gender expectations. Her mixed-media shadow boxes, collage, photography, and printmaking overwrite the conventions of sexuality, domesticity, family, history and the body. Inspired by artists Barbara Kruger, Elizabeth “Bloodbath” McGrath, and Norman Barney, as well as poets e.e. cummings and Edgar Allan Poe, Langford’s work narrates what Phil Vanderwall described in 2011 as “pop culture innocence gone horribly wrong”. Her collage, Mother Load, is featured in Collage Artist Trading Cards Pack 7.

Packs of Collage Artist Trading Cards are a tool for discovering contemporary, fine art collage. Each card is a full colour, 5.5” x 3.5” postcard with rounded corners. An example of an artist’s work is on the front of the card and the artist’s public contact information is on the back.

We asked Langford some questions about her work.

Can you explain the idea behind Mother Load?

Trying to make one trip up the stairs, carrying everything from homework to stray socks, is something that I do on a regular basis. As with most artists, my work is semi-autobiographical.

How do you make this work?

I let images lead me. I do not have a preconceived idea of what I will create. I have stacks of old Good Housekeeping magazines that have a wealth of great images within. I will flip through a magazine and wait for something to grab my interest. Once I have found the main image to inspire a thought or theme, I will cut it out and then look for additional images to add to the narrative.

Why did you want to make this work?

I liked the image of the woman. She is bending over, and I thought it would make an interesting statement to pile objects upon her back. I was thinking of the many women in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s (and even now) who were expected to carry the brunt of domestic duties, literally, on their backs. The only male presence in this collage is a hand with a cigarette. With all that she can balance, this woman may as well join the circus. At least she’d get paid for her talent.

What are you working on these days?

I am interested in texture, and I think I will try collaging with vintage fabric. I have some ideas for some long, protest-style banners. This will involve sewing of some sort, which is interesting because I hate sewing. Maybe I will half-glue and half-sew. I also have about 3 collages on the go, including a 7-foot-long collage companion piece to The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, which I am calling The Gods of Rock.


Langford creates shadowboxes, photographs, assemblage, installations, video, photo-transfer prints, and collage. She studied English Literature and Art History at the University of Toronto. Langford will exhibit with Marshall Heaton at the Leamington Arts Centre in Leamington, Ontario, 29 August-22 September 2018. In the meantime, you can see more of her work in the Kolaj Magazine Artist Directory as well as her blog, on Facebook page, on Instagram feed, and her website www.laurielangford.com

Images: (top to bottom)
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (detail)
26″x80″x3″; collage from fashion magazines and 1880s Bible engravings; 2012

Mother Load
12″x12″; collage using images from vintage Good Housekeeping magazines; 2014

Be Particular
17.25″x14.5″; collage; 2014