In an increasingly digital world, paper is often seen as: a utilitarian material to use and convey information, a tactile object in the form of a book or publication, something that can be easily discarded, or an artifact that captures a moment in time. These six artists: Simone Esterhuizen, Melanie Lineham, Lee McKenna, Diana Miller and Sabine Pick, are all bound together by the common thread of using paper in their collage based work and art practice.
The Tearaways references the ways in which each artist uses paper in both its archival and disposable form and the analog nature of collage itself.
About the artists
Melbourne based collage and mixed media artist Simone Esterhuizen pays homage to the photographers, models and graphic artists whose work lies in discarded source material found in used bookstores, digital marketplaces and garage sales.
Themes oscillate from loneliness and anonymity to hyper-sexuality, with source material carefully curated to create a collection of work, united by the artist’s interest in using colour to create atmospheres and moods. Objects are sliced, torn, concealed or revealed to create new images with a sense of off-kilter familiarity.
Melanie Lineham is a mixed media artist living and working in Melbourne, Australia.
Melanie enjoys creating something entirely new from old stories, bringing them back to life. These old stories - found among the images in vintage books and found street posters - satisfy the need for a sense of connectedness.
Collage practice is an opportunity to express herself through stream of consciousness play. Merging her deep love of colour with abstract forms and seeing the beauty in everyday objects, Melanie is compelled to make them a part of her personal process, striving for simplicity and restraint.
Lee McKenna is a New Zealander based in Melbourne Australia She works in various media. but is primarily known for her collages
'My collage work embraces the Impertection or old, used, discarded and damaged paper. These papers depict moments in time - often bearing marks and traces of a past life and the human hand. I rescue these unwanted fragments, creating layers, building connections and forming something new and unpredictable. The process is wholly tactile - nothing is digital. I like the restrictions that this creates the hand-cutting and gluing down, the use or only original papers and ephemera. Elements are added or removed, or covered over and reworked. Ideas and narratives may emerge, but often a series is initiated through the acquisition of a certain type or raw material - an old photo album, a stash of old maps, a pile of old postcards...'
Lee’s artwork is informed by the source material. Her collages are from paper that is imperfect and worn - with vestiges and markings of a past life.
Originally trained as a graphic designer in South Africa in the early 90s, Diana Miller began her visual arts practice in Australia in 2007. With a love for art, mathematics and geometry as a child, Diana’s fascination with shapes and their interplay has been a lifelong one. While primarily an abstract painter, Diana uses collage as a way in to her process-driven practice. She utilizes a mix of ready-made collage materials in the form of printed book pages, as well as hand painted papers she creates herself. She finds freedom in the random outcomes she can achieve from collage.
Diana completed her contemporary art studies at the Byron School of Art in 2018 where she was the recipient of the Graduate Award. She currently sells her work at Modern Times in Melbourne and Curatorial and Co. in Sydney. She has held 5 solo shows and participated in numerous group shows and Art Prizes across Australia. She has been awarded prizes in the c.a.s.e. Postcard Show, The Little Things Art Prize at St Cloche in Sydney, The Rotary Art Spectacular and the The Lethbridge 10000 in Brisbane, and was a finalist in the Clayton Utz Art Prize.
Sabine Pick lives and works in Byron Bay, NSW Australia.
Her art practice consists of using fragmented shapes, that have been created by cutting and tearing letterpress printed typographical characters (letters), her handwriting and pages from old art books then arranging them into minimal collages. The making of each piece tends to be intuitive and unplanned. Using the fragmented shapes, takes the original from a readable letter, picture or written word, into an unreadable and hidden form. The subtle torn and hand cut edges of the paper and the hidden parts of the letters or shapes, evoke thoughts and questions. Her interest lies in the relationships between the forms and the edges. She uses shapes to find a balance of push and pull and the tension between them. Overlapping creates a subtle jarring. Structure and texture compete with each other to create a tension from one work to the next.
'Collage is a quiet process, which is deliberate and contemplative. I enjoy the solitude of this process.'