The desk in artist Giles Davies’ studio is awash with colour, which is not unusual for someone creating landscape pictures, but what is out of the ordinary is that instead of paints he is working with paper from magazines.
The former graphic designer recycles an amazing variety of hues of every colour from photographs in old magazines and then painstakingly cuts them into shapes to create his landscapes.
Giles, who lives in Derby, spent many years working as a graphic designer in the publishing industry, later however web design left him cold and he found the tactile process of creating magazine collage much more appealing.
“I have always found collage fascinating and used to turn to it a lot when I was working as a designer, so when I was invited to create something to exhibit at the Six Streets Art Trail in Derby I turned to collage,” he explained.
“I had just returned from an adventure on Snowdon with my sons and the beautiful wall of snow we encountered at the top of the mountain inspired the artworks which I eventually took along.
“I couldn’t believe it when they sold to practically the first person who came through the door. I thought, perhaps I am on to something here. Perhaps I have found something people will like. My friends were saying they were great and that encouraged me to continue and gain confidence.
“The strength of colour and detail in printed magazines is brilliant for responding to the rich natural design in a landscape and I have great fun searching out the cuttings with the right colour, tone and texture to create my pictures. It feels a bit like playtime all the time,” he said with a grin playing across his face.
Giles works from photographs of the landscape he has taken and uses a scalpel to cut out the paper which he pre-mounts on contact adhesive. That means he can move pieces around before finally positioning it when he is happy with it.
“Food magazines are my favourite resource. The photography is always very good and the natural colours are perfect,” he says as we rummage through the endless bits of paper on his desk.
Among the images is a bowl of rice and suddenly I can see it as pebbles on the beach.
“Well done,” he says. “That’s exactly how I encourage people who come on my magazine collage workshops to think.”
At the Great Dome Art Fair from July 21-23, as well as exhibiting, Giles will be giving an illustrated talk entitled Do I Have To Stand On My Head To Do Magazine Collage?
He will explain how looking at things differently is fundamental to magazine collage and share some tips which he hopes will inspire people to get creative with their own collages.
You can also see his work at Cromford Studio and Gallery where he will be the featured artist for August.
“It is still just the beginning of my venture into the very different world of fine art but I am delighted to have been accepted into the Peak District Artisans group and looking forward to more people seeing what I do,” he said.
For more information about his work go to http://www.gilesdavieslandscapes.co.uk