What is a collage?
A collage is something that’s made from a number of different pieces, which are then stuck together. You could make a collage just from pieces of paper joined together, but in my collages I use a large variety of materials.
Why do I work in collage?
I don’t know any other way of achieving the results that collage can give me. I’ve always loved textures and started as a painter trying to reproduce textures using paint. Then I thought, why not use the actual textures and that is what I do now.
What do I use to make my collages?
Whenever I can I use the real material … because for me that gives the result I am wanting. For example, if I want to show an area of sand in my picture I’ll use real sand, my birds will have real feathers stuck on them. For tree trunks I will often use paperbark tree bark or thin slices of other types of tree bark from a dead tree trunk.
How long does it take me to make a book?
I could work much more quickly if my pictures were drawings or paintings! A book like ‘Where the forest meets the sea’ will take two or three years, but ‘One Hungry Spider’ only took me three months.
If you use real vegetation on your collages, how do you stop the vegetation from dying? I bathe the vegetation in a mixture of special chemicals for about a week. These chemicals preserve the vegetation and remove all the juices in the vegetation, which would in time destroy it. Then I finely spray the vegetation with paint to give it a permanent colour, before sticking it onto my collages.
Of all the books you’ve made, which is your favourite?
When a book is finally finished, I find it hard to think about it any more …I want to fill my head with something totally different, with a new book. My favourite book is the ‘new’ book I’m working on, still working out and trying to make better than the books I made before it!