Collage: Seeing Stories

Inspired by Controversial Erotic Literature

The following collages were a powerful reaction to certain provocative early 20th century erotic literature pieces. Their explicit, surreal and controversial elements with regards to sexuality, identity and power made the stories fascinating to me.

The collages below are inspired by the following erotic novels: Story of the Eye, Dream Story, Story of O. The novels encompass a world of themes I am inspired by such as the subconscious and psychoanalysis, eroticism, sexuality and subversive imagery.

Many of these pieces are made with a range of processes, objects and materials. Primarily using surrealist techniques of automatism, I have no idea how the image will come together and instead rely on the materials to guide me to a final composition. Once I am happy with the effect the image has on me, I leave it and sometimes come back to it to add more or take something away.

I start with a certain range of materials ( rosebuds, lace, floral paper and a variety of printed body parts etc) and create works responding to the themes as I interpret them.

For this series, themes of identity, identification with the body and its image, desire, self harm, abuse and violence come up regularly. Underlying these themes are stories of a lighter sensuality, eroticism, ecstasy and a confrontation with the female image, sometimes with a critical humour of what western society deems as acceptable in any given context.

The link with eroticism and death is quite prominent in these works and is written about extensively, by authors like Georges Bataille.