Helen Norman is a collage artist, whose work is collected internationally.  Works feature in private collections in the USA, France and the UK


How did you first discover your love of collage? 

I had always loved making things out of discarded objects and paper during my childhood.l loved giving things a new life, use and meaning as it challenged my imagination. In my teenage years my parents took me to Rome where l discovered Italian mosaics. I was smitten and so curious as to how this could work for me in my absorbing world of art. l was then just painting in oils in my bedroom on the edge of Dartmoor! Later l studied Textile Design in Bristol and eventually the combination of all these experiences led me into the world of collage and experimentation. It was only later that l discovered that Picasso had very successfully used collage as an art form too!

“The Cockerel”

 Can you tell us more about collage as a medium-it’s benefits and challenges?

Collage comes from the French word Coller, as l know only too well having exhibited in France  for many years. It means to glue, a technique used by Picasso and Braque although it had been used as an art and illustrative art form many centuries before. There are many types of collage and now in modern times it is used in mixed media painting too. However my  collages are made from only torn newsprint with no use of scissors to enable me to get an Impressionistic feel. It is particularly challenging when l run out of a certain colour or piece of newsprint as there is no tube of paint to remix the colour. In addition getting my fine line detail can be quite challenging too. For me it advantages are many . It is a very eco friendly form of art which is most important in life and it can be done by anyone anywhere with the addition of a few old magazines and a tube of glue!

“Two Sisters Fishing”

What was it about the subjects of ‘Two sister’s fishing’ and the ‘Cockerel’ that inspired you to create these works?

The inspirations for my pictures are very varied involving many subjects. What inspired my Cockerel Collage was my strong love of chickens and cockerels in my childhood . l also love the art of Toulouse Lautrec  and the idea of my collage reflecting this in some way. The inspiration  for the Two Sisters Fishing was also inspired by my Summers on the South Devon coast both as a child and with my own 4 children. The curiosity of what is in the bottom of your fishing bucket always catches the imagination of such small children.

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