Thursday, 27 February 2014

Going Vintage

Look around you and check if there is any vintage object within your sight. An old magazine, your father’s camera, an old-fashioned picture frame, one of your mother’s favourite trinkets, memorabilia of some kind. Most certainly you will find something. As Sloane Crosley, a young writer living in New York and a professor at Columbia University, puts it “our culture’s obsession with vintage objects has rendered us unable to separate history from nostalgia. People want heart”.

Nostalgia and heart are precisely two ingredients offered to us by Jennifer Collier’s paper art. A young British artist living in Stafford, she creates unusual, beautiful art pieces from paper, by bonding, waxing, trapping and stitching it to produce paper ‘fabric’ which she then uses to ‘remake’ common household object. In the process, they actually become works of art with a vintage aura that inevitably fascinates viewers, bringing memories to their minds.

As Collier refers, she finds inspiration for her creations in the very paper she uses as medium, since the narrative or images they contain suggest to her the shapes she is going to work. Imagine a camera covered by old pictures and postcards, bringing viewers echoes of journeys – true or imaginary – to faraway places. Or a typewriter wrapped in poems or pages of a novel which might have seen the light through its use. Or a sewing machine fittingly dressed in old-fashioned material or dress making patterns. Or binoculars covered by maps which might have provided guidance to those using them.

Jennifer Collier is also concerned with conveying a message about what our consumer society values and what is thrown away. She tries to raise awareness to all the waste produced, by working with transient media and giving new life to items which were about to be discarded as useless. She hunts flea markets, charity and antique shops, fruit and vegetable stalls in search of the media she is going to use in her art works, while seeking inspiration too.

Each of Jennifer Collier’s creations is unique and inspirational insofar as they not only surprise viewers for its originality, but also for their power to capture their imagination, to seize them in the memories they evoke, to make them travel in time. In fact, Jennifer Collier’s paper art prompts nostalgia, arrests hearts and puts a lingering smile on the face of all those who can enjoy the pleasure and the privilege of gazing at her works.

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