Collage: Challenging Scale, Space and Environment



Sophie Victoria Elliott.

Work in progress for the residency at Milkwood Gallery, Roath, Cardiff.

This collage is made up of images and words responding to the journey I am making between Caerphilly and Milkwood Gallery via public transport and my bike. This projects promotes the ecological benefits of using sustainable and public transports.



Basement Progression

Sophie Victoria Elliott.

Milkwood Residency in progress.

Much to do and it is proving to be a big space to do a collage in! Went all the way to Swansea to get A0 and A1 prints done especially for this. Lots of cutting. Lots of measuring. Lots of sticking.

Starting to take shape but so far to go!

The break up
May 15, 2012, 2:26 pm
Filed under: Edel Marie | Tags: , , ,

Starting the residency in Milkwood basement marks a significant change in my life as an artist. I draw and I have always drawn, with paint. I am taking the opportunity of the residency to change the way I approach my work as well as the way I create work. I have always chosen to work with paint as I am interested in the relationship it has with photography and how they have both worked to present manipulated images of the female form.

Exploring cut paper is something I have been playing around with in one way or another for the past few months. The basement has challenged me to really get to grips with how I want to use the language of cut paper to create work. Working in a new environment has been a constructive way to deal with the emotions resulting from my recent break up with paint, a fresh start without the other half of me. Working without paint for two weeks has challenged the manner in which I have been working in ways that I had not anticipated.

How things normally work:

1) I wander around a sketchbook

2) I find some bits of MDF or paper

3) I start drawing

Using this method of working means I am pretty much self reliant and can drawing whenever I like. So creating work for deadlines or exhibitions is only dependant on me. I enjoy organisation, control and being self reliant. Out sourcing does not complement these natural inclinations of mine. When writing my proposal for the basement it was my intention to create some of the work using laser cutters. This involves out sourcing to other people as I do not have the skills or resources at hand to laser cut myself. While in theory this seems like an achievable task in practise the reality has been much more challenging.

Not all of the work is being laser cut so I am currently working on large scale paper pieces by hand in the basement. The solitude of the basement and its lack of acknowledgement for the outside world is something that has complimented the manner in which I am distilling the collages and source images which I am working from. I am attempting to create final images on the cut paper that represent the minimum information required to read the image as a whole.

The language, the materials, the method are all alien. But continuing to cut and transform bits of paper is making me understand how the silhouette and the blank space has been present in my painting and is turning the journey away from paint into a one that shows me greater understanding of the visual elements that I direct and control in my work as a whole.

Photography by Nicolas Copeland –


The starting point
May 15, 2012, 11:05 am
Filed under: Edel Marie | Tags: , , , ,

Engaging and reappropriating  the narrative associated with the female form within the context of the media through the medium of fine art is an area which I have been exploring in various bodies of work in recent years.  During the month of May I will be moving away from my comfort zone of drawing with paint and investigate drawing with paper cuts.

The fetishistic notion of the female form expressed through visual media is being exposed to an ever broadening audience on a daily basis.  The lines between adult content and family viewing become increasingly blurred as the public and private domain mingle and merge into an uncensored, always accessible, alternate reality.  The domino effect from each individual image onto the females who consume and react to them is rapidly starting to percolate into younger and younger generations with personal identities becoming a select section of one size fits all rather then a personal journey where we find out who we are as we live our lives.   

My political stance and opinions on such happenings does not sit comfortably with my lifestyle and day to day choices.  This was highlighted to me while having a conversation with an aunt of mine about her daughter who asked if she could wear foundation to school as she felt self conscious about her skin.  I was horrified at the thought that a girl aged 10 would feel such pressure to look a certain way.  It is easy to blame the usual media, music videos and magazines etc. but in reality I am a role model to this young girl and I never leave the house without a face of make up, and the same can be said for the majority of women that this young girl sees from day to day.  As part of my residence in the Milkwood Basement I intend to explore why I chose to support ideas and concepts in my day to day actions while vocally stating that I am opposed to such behaviour.  I intend to question and explore these concepts and idea through paper cuts and paper chains in a bid to pare back to a bare minimum the imagery that attempts to present an idealised female form.  In past bodies of work I have explored the relationship between fine art and the media as manipulators of the female form though traditional fine art materials, I now wish to utilising a method of making that links to the playground in a bid to highlight similar links but in a different context to the viewer.

Working within the space of the basement is particularly influential in the curation of this body of work.  Firstly I find the basement space in Milkwood to be a very intimate exhibition space which compliments the sensitive and personal nature of the issues that I hope to explore.  Secondly the basement is traditionally where we sort and hide past items, heirlooms and those bits and pieces that we don’t use on a daily bases. 

Lets see what happens over the next few weeks…