Ginger Sedlarova @ The Cultch
i. I am a: Collage artist
ii. Something I’ve learned about myself as an artist over the last two years:
That working with collage, all those wonderful shapes and textures and images, not only makes me happy and fulfills my creative needs, but allows me to work with dozens of other mediums that I still love. Until the pandemic hit, I was a painter, a sculptor, a mixed media artist, an illustrator. My work was all over the place, no consistency. I struggled to find my direction in my art. When we were suddenly locked down, I hit a wall creatively, hard. In order to break that creative block, I started making postcard collages and sending them to friends and family. Suddenly, I was having a blast with my work and tried making larger collages. They came out great, my work started attracting attention, and with each series I feel like I’m growing as an artist. Plus, I’m having fun again, which is essential to me when making my work. Making collage also allows me to integrate my other loves into my work: paint, ink, charcoal, fumage, mixed media — the list is endless. So I’ve discovered my passion without having to take away anything that I love.
iii. The name of my current exhibit/show is: Collage Works by Ginger Sedlarova and Seema Shah (thecultch.com/gallery)
Darling, Can’t You Hear Me?
iv. In describing the show in 3 sentences or less, I’d say:
Two unconventional collage artists with very different styles come together to challenge people’s pre-conceived notions of what collage is.
v. In the show, you’ll see:
Two very different styles of collage — My works in this show have a lot of bright colours as I play with composition, faces and a lot of flowers (plus a little fumage) — as a former journalist and news designer, I’m still trying to tell stories, but now I’m glueing those stories down on wood panels. Seema’s works come from somewhere deep within herself, very dramatic. As she says, “A stream of water and darkness runs through” her works in this show. They’re dark, but beautiful. And I love the way she integrates text into her pieces.
vi. The inspiration for this show comes from:
Honestly, Seema and I were paired together for this show by its curator. I can only guess at why, as our work is so disparate. We’d never met before, but I’m so glad we were given this opportunity together, as she’s not only become a friend but an inspiration to me. I’m a huge fan of the Bauhaus photomontagists of the 1930’s and 40’s and have always wanted to take on political collage — to question and critique government and society using humour and irony. I’ve always thought an art surface is as good a space as an editorial for commentary. Her work, so full of emotion, has given me the courage to step out in the future and try making more radical work. We all have something to say — the only difference is how we say it.
They Sentenced Me To 20 Years Of Boredom
vii. One challenge in developing this show was:
Trying to pair two such diverse artists together for one show. Both of us make distinct work in such different ways. The only place we cross paths, I believe, can be seen in our artist statements. I write that “my work is how I see the world when I close my eyes,” while Seema’s reads, “my collages are layered emotional narratives that reflect my inner landscape.” So we’re both going in opposite directions from the same inner source.
viii. My past work includes:
A series of mixed media paintings and assemblages that I worked on alongside another talented local artist, Marliese Eilers, called #ThemToo. My part of the series is viewable on my website. We had such fun doing this work, which was a playful look at the lives of Canadian women of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. I had a bunch of old Vancouver newspapers and vintage women’s magazines and we just went to town on the material, painting, collaging (That should have been my first clue that collage was in my future!), adding vintage jewelry and more. We came up with the series when the #MeToo movement was growing, and wanted to speak to the generations of women who came before us who hadn’t been allowed to speak out, but in a fresh and impish way.
ix. Putting a new show out into the world right now feels:
Surreal, which usually would be a good thing as I love anything and everything surreal, but this must be my 10th online show – I cannot wait to have an in-person show again!
The Stories Of The Street Are Mine
x. After this show, I’m looking forward to:
Where to start? I’m looking forward to playing more with surrealism and continuing to develop my style, I have several ideas for series I can’t wait to create, and I want to make some major goals happen such as finding gallery representation and having shows in cities I love such as Berlin and my second home, Prague.
Yes, to let everyone know that we’ll be having an online artist talk on Sunday, September 12 at 2 p.m. PST. The Zoom link is available on the Cultch’s gallery site. Hope to see you there!