Splitting Image / by Laura Couttie

When Pablo Picasso first stuck found objects onto his painting, Still Life with Chair Caning, exactly one hundred years ago, he could not possibly have imagined the repercussions. This simple action had momentous results, subverting traditional ideas about art and opening up a watershed of new artistic possibilities such as photomontage, installation and readymade works; the effect of which we are still seeing today.

Perhaps it is unsurprising that in this increasingly digital age we are experiencing a return to more traditional mediums and techniques and an increasing desire for the tactile and tangible. Today more than ever before, we have a wealth of images at our fingertips; an endless supply of material just waiting to be recast and given new life. In our society’s present state of constant over-stimulation, collage can be seen as a way of making sense of the world, of interpreting the masses of information that bombards us, of drawing comparisons and making connections between disparate elements. 

Splitting Image brings together a group of local artists who use collage in a contemporary context. The motivations for using this technique, the methods of creating and the finished works reveal very different intentions and artistic styles. However, shared by all artists is the practice of collecting, fragmenting and re-contextualising found images in order to create new meanings and unexpected realities.