I AM a salvage artist. My style of collage, my aesthetic, is much like a historian or archaeologist, to preserve what I unearth. I love the ancient, I swoon over beautiful penmanship and old love letters. There’s a deep connection I feel to the past, to the person who penned the letter, the faces in a photograph, the beauty and the decay.
Bits of ephemera, some centuries apart, are combined through folding, tearing, layering and peeling back, exposing an identity lost and creating a new history. To give them a further feeling of permanence and stop any decaying, encaustic medium (beeswax and damar resin) is added and unexpected details emerge.
The Japanese word, mottainai, meaning ‘too good to waste,’ was used to describe boro fabric: textiles that have been mended and patched over and over. This resonated with me, so every scrap of antique paper or vintage fabric is saved until it finds a home in my art. I also feel the importance of using the original materials, not copies, to lend authenticity to myself and the voice I’m hoping to bring to the original owner of the document.