Art interview: Kubi Vasak and Angela Garrick
cut.paste.repeat brings together seven Australian and international artists who explore a broad range of collage techniques and aesthetics in their practice. Ahead of a new exhibition in Sydney, we got two of the contributing artists to interview each other:
Kubi Vasak interviews Angela Garrick
What are you going to be exhibiting in cut.paste.create?
I’ll be showing a combination of works. I’ve been slowly collating images for about 6 months or so, forming a catalogued-by-theme image archive. I’ve crafted some new animations based on some of these cutouts, and I’ll also be exhibiting some older works that I made for my solo show, Traces.
What’s the concept behind the work/why did you make it?
There isn’t really an underlying ‘concept’ to the work, it’s more aesthetic than anything else. There is something really playful about both collage and animation, and I choose images and combinations of images based on an aesthetic interest or juxtaposition. I try to combine images of nature with that of the man-made world with cultural images, and also australiana-type images. I’m interested in trying to explore or reveal what images convey a notion of Australia, and notions of cultural identity, so I guess some of the works included will explore this possibility.
Collage can be interpreted in many different way. What role do you think the role Collage plays in videography?
In terms of my own practice, collage plays a kind of mythological role. Animation is in a sense objects ‘moving’ by themselves, and it is the job of the artist to create this illusion. When combining collage with other aspects of video, it acts as a counterpoint, a playful and very analogue aesthetic that is very different in every way to digital video, motion graphics, and most other post-modern and internet-era video effects. The cut-and paste collage in video is very modernist in its look and feel, reminiscent of Dada, Zines, early Punk and the like.
For those people who aren’t familiar with what you do. You’re also a musician (playing in bands such as Straight Arrows, Ruined Fortune, Circle Pit & Southern Comfort) What kind of role does music play when you’re making art?
I think that music is very different – I’ve said this before, music is kinda the ultimate. Its very ephemeral, linked to the emotions and senses, and it’s (for me) something you can’t really explain. It’s an entity onto its own. I wish I would work more on music, but there’ll be times when I just can’t which is when I dedicate more of my time to art and collage. I’m glad I can do both, but I can’t really predict when I’ll be able to write songs, they just kinda happen, and you hope to have a pen or recording device nearby. The rest of the time I just cut out pictures from books and try to paint.
Thinking recently, has there been any films, music or art that blew your mind or inspired you?
In terms of collage, my favourite work is Harry Smith’s Heaven and Earth Magic. It is an animated cutout feature film. It really is the pinnacle of collage and cut-outs for me, as it conveys a story, a narrative, and as the name suggests, it is quite magical.
Musically, I’m obsessed with Nana Vasconcelos, a Brasilian Drummer whose album Saudades (ECM) I listen to when I am working on loop. Its so beautiful, and intense, and strange, and fuses drum rhythms, voice and the berimbau instrument.
And lastly, are there future projects you are involved in that you would like to share with us?
I’m curating a big project on Cockatoo Island for Underbelly Arts 2015 with two other women, Danielle Zorbas and Sophie Kitson. The project, called Island Salon, is hosting over 100 women artists working in collaborative groups. I’m so excited about this project and its been so exciting so far to see the projects develop. I’ve also got a new solo album coming out this year which I’m really excited about, as it has taken me and Owen about 2 years to make and it feels really great to have it finally all finished! Some really great musicans worked on it including Nathan Roche, Ben Hepworth, Sam Chiplin and many more 🙂
Angela Garrick interviews Kubi Vasak
Kubi, what first drew you to Collage? What kind of arts background did you have before being drawn to this medium? Are there objects or events in your childhood or early years that might have influenced your passion for cut and paste?
My earliest memory would have been when my mum used to cut out all the drawings and doodles that my sister and I would do as kids and collage then into photo albums with real photos. Later when I started to experiment with my own collages, I was impressed by how much easier it was to express my creativity, by simply tearing, cutting and overlapping images.
What is it about an image that strikes you as something that you should use? How to you source your images?
That’s a good question, I guess a good image will make me have a second or third look at it. It might be vintage, it might be bold and colourful, or just be a beautiful landscape. It really depends on what I’m looking for at the time or what takes my eye. My images come from vintage books and magazines mostly. Normally I will find these in second hand stores, antique centres or second hand book stores.
How do you see your art practice evolving over the next few years?
I really would like to be able to work on a larger scale in the future, for this I would need to have a proper studio (not the corner of my bedroom). And of course, to be more involved in exhibitions and the collage scene.
It seems that collage as a medium is becoming utilized more and more. Why would you say this is? Would you say that it has something to do with the prevalence of digital images, and collage is a reaction or rebellion against this?
I think that people like the aesthetic of collage in general. It can look modern but with a vintage feel. I’ve seen more collage in café’s and bars lately. There is something about the imperfect cut that you get by using scissors or a blade, rather then doing it digitally. Also, personally I find I get better compositions if I have the pieces in front of me rather than on the screen – I can play around with it more. I don’t know if it’s a rebellion, it’s like comparing pears and nashi pears – both are from the same family but one’s a new hybrid ;P
What has been some interesting responses to your work ?
Normally people either love the work or give you that face “Pfffft you call this art? Anyone could do this” and I always think, bet this guy also hates pears.
WHEN: 3 April – 25 April 2015
WHERE: Verge Gallery, Jane Foss Russell Plaza (Sydney Uni), City Road, Darlington. Opening: 2 April, 6-8pm