karen stamper

I describe my work as fine art collages. My work has the overall sense of a painting but as you look close you will see that it is skilfully built up using layers of found papers, tissue and acrylic paint – mixed media.

This is an intuitive, direct approach that allows me a huge amount of freedom to interpret my drawings, sketches and photographs in bold, contemporary and original way. I am currently exhibiting a range of medium and large, affordable abstracted fine art collages in bright, joyful Mediterranean colours, blue,orange,red and yellow.

I see the beauty in simple scraps, ripped edges, accidental marks and worn surfaces. By simplifying and flattening space with paper shapes, I can recompose, conceal and reveal, deliberately avoiding representational clarity. The interaction of positive and negative shapes, vibrant colours, layers of tissue and found papers all give a sense of unity; Increasingly there is a strong abstract element but still with some recognisable elements.

I take my inspiration from worn surfaces, the urban shoreline, boats, docks and lettering of foreign lands. I want to capture the memory and the sense of human presence (words, numbers, labels, lettering) echoing the passing of time

I begin in a spontaneous way with cut shapes that relate to my subject. These ideas are taken form my sketchbooks and photographs. Many hours are spent deliberating over arrangements of papers, layers, edges, surfaces. As the pieces begin to link in an interesting way a sense of unity, composition and design develops.

I will have a scene, a place, a travel memory in mind but this does not dominate. Alot of my collages are inspired by countries such as Morocco, and France, but more recently the urban shoreline closer to home. There are recognisable parts like archways, masts, harbour walls that draw the viewer in and snippets of lettering, textures and colours allow the viewer to use their imagination too.