Katie Morrow has just finished her final year of a Fine Arts degree at Massey University, and we were so impressed with her final work - eerie, beautiful people-oriented collages - that we invited her to talk about her work and share it with us.
What got you interested in art in the first place?
Yikes, I think I've always been interested in art but I have to say a trip to the Guggenheim when I was 17 had a huge impact. I didn't even think I was a fan of Picasso until I saw 'Woman Ironing (1904)' and bawled my eyes out. I think I realized then if an image can provoke a reaction like that it's pretty special.
And what led you to collage?
I'm ashamed to admit I have always been some what of a scrapbook nerd, making albums of photos of friends, holidays, events, so it has been a kind of natural development. Collage is such a good way to start producing work - well I find it is anyway - because you tend to not get precious with it like you would if painting on a fancy canvas or what not. You can be messy and shuffle things around, draw over bits and dismember body parts haha. Sometimes my favorite work will have been a massive mistake and I love that.
How would you define collage?
I don't think I could define collage, to me it's taking bits and pieces of things and reinterpreting them in a way that makes them a bit obscure. An artist whose name I can't remember said collage reflects the chaos of society which I think is pretty spot on. The whole a world's a collage! That's how I'd define it.
What do you explore in your work?
Ummm hard question!!! It used to be nothing - I would just draw and paint, collage or whatever for fun. I would make some random pictures and never really know where they came from, but when I started Uni I learned the importance of concept (this was all new to me haha) and began to see things in my work that did have meaning and relevance in my life in one way or another. Through out university I mainly explored ideas concerning stereotypes of female representation, sexuality and the body.
The media play a big role in my work because working with lots of collage I am constantly flipping through magazines and papers. Images can be so deceiving and I think as a society we overlook the importance of questioning the images we are bombarded with. I also still make lots of work that I have no idea what it means or where it came from though, not having to justify it and just being like take a look, and if you like it awesome, if you don't ce la vie. That's a pretty good way to role. Sometimes people get so serious about it and it takes the fun away, it's so subjective in the end.
Who are artists that you admire?
I admire so many but guess a few favorites would have to be Robert Longo, Dali, Robert Rauschenberg, Max Ernest, Paula Rego, Francesca Williams, Jeff Koons, Bill Brandt, Bill Hammond, Barbara Kruger, Yayoi Kusama, Collier Schor the list goes on.
Why do you think art is an important medium? Do you think it can be powerful?
It is hands down one of the most important, what a boring existence it would be without painting, photography, sculpture, fashion. It would be like life without music, chips without sauce - it just wouldn't do. It can change your life and even make you cry a wee bit, so yes indeed.
What are your future plans?
To work for a bit and save, maybe teach, hopefully still make art and travel travel travel! I'd also like to go to space so just hanging out for Branson's call.
If you like what you see you can get in touch with Katie on email@example.com.