Irina Sevostyanova

Samara, Russia
Could you tell us few words about yourself?

I am a collagist, and I finished design department.

Why did you get into collage? What did you start with?

I don’t remember exactly when collage-wave enveloped me. I have been actively gluing since 2011. I went into collage as long ago as I had been studying while composition lessons. Everything started with jokes – I and my friends made funny collages shredding pictures and adding phrases that only we could understand. That was 10 years ago. I was mad about cut since my childhood indeed. Perhaps I was inspired with the family albums where the photographs were decorated with pictures cut from postcards. Though I could master collagist skills when I helped my mother to cut and to glue fireworks labels “Soviet Champaign”.

What new abilities those are not approachable in painting and sculpture for example does collage provide?

Collage is a very many-sided technique. Nothing prevents combining collage with painting or sculpture as well as with anything basically. Also collage technique let you make masterpiece from any trash. You take some ready-made and mount it in something new. You create something new using secondary material.

What are you going to do further?

There are things I am aspiring to. I want to upgrade my skills in painting and to reach new level in collage, and to prepare my first assemblage… In general creative development is planned. I aim creative collaborations with artists of various spheres; street-art and land-art, for example, are also interesting for me.

What are you working at now?

I have just finished few placards for friendly projects. Studio is my key project that I have been working at since October. It may be called creative sect. I am agitating people for collage and creative development. There is a small constant group.

What do you want to achieve? Or is it creation for itself that doesn’t have any certain aim?

I want to popularize collage, to extend my studio, to open a museum of collage after all. I dream to become new Hannah Höch.

How does audience take your works?

I didn’t meet people who disliked my works. There were people who needed some time to understand idea of some works, who didn’t understand at all why I went in for collage but not drew, for example (actually why?). More often I hear comment like “cool!” concerning my collages.

Who are your favorite artist and ideological inspirer?

I can hardly choose someone concrete.  I am inspired of the artists Hannah Höch, Kurt Schwittersm, Max Ernst and few hundreds of modern collagists which I discovered through Flickr and Tumblr. Almost every artist has at least one work that could inspire me.

Do you think if you industry specific education (nonetheless design is very close to collage) helped you in creation?

Perhaps, a little. I glue my collages by intuition, I don’t think about composition rules even breaking them sometimes. Actually it is helpful not to use head with all its knowledge and just to create. If you think too much about design in a collage creative layer of your work slips away, and the work looks too “refined”, so you will get much less pleasure of the result.

How did idea of Collage Studio appear?

Collage has long since become more than just a hobby. It is not simply my self-expression. It is art-therapy, meditative practice and entertainment. If I become enthusiastic about something I want other people to be inspired with it. Glue and scissors are always in my bag, and papers are also within access no matter where you are, so collage is always with me and I want to share it with friends.  The guests who came to my place have been involved in collaging process for some time now. I also often suggest gluing something while visiting. Last spring they suggested me participating in a youth forum with some creative project. I was thinking over for long time how could I unite people with collage means, I turned over in my mind various variants; as a result an idea of studio appeared. I wanted an experiment. From the very beginning I had an idea of collaborative mix through collage (collage in wide meaning, not only with paper, but also music, video and etc.) I wanted captured creative people to meet in the studio and create collaborative projects mounting pieces of paper, sounds, words and others.

What intermediates have you also worked with? May be you have experience in experiments in another art forms.

Perhaps beside traditional painting techniques I haven’t tried anything. I am maturing for open air work; collage fits well into the same street-art. I haven’t decided yet what to begin with. As well once I helped a street-artist from Samara to paint on the wall an abstract work, though it took place not in the air but within gallery exhibition. By the way! I also tried myself as an action artist while studying in Action art atelier of Sergey Balandin. The performance was devoted to Marina Abramovich works. I was buried and breathed through special funnel. I had been lying for more than an hour and I had enough time to think over many things, of course, I thought about the collage concerning this performance I would do. There was astonishing coincidence: when I was making the collage based on burying I felt deja vu. I remembered that I had glued something similar. That was a gift collage-postcard for my friend artist that I had made nine month before. The image on that postcard closely echoed with me. So I can say that this very collage was a prediction for me, though it was made for another man. As if having made that picture I predicted my “new born” through digging up in nine month.

Art of collage is not so popular in Russia, isn’t it? Not so many people seem to take collage seriously in general.

It is popular, but because of unserious attitude to collage it still remains auxiliary technique for composition sense development. Collage is an auxiliary use technique. They are used to believe that in collage you don’t create anything you just remount ready pictures. And many people regard collage as children’s craft only. There are children who make the coolest collages. And there are adults making rubbish. The last ones of course don’t find anything of art in this technique, though they could have success in other art forms. Collage art as well as drawing and painting needs to be studied.

Do you find important to popularize collage as work of art but not some dabbling as it is used to being perceived by audience.

Some people dabble in collage and create proper work of arts. It is not about collage only. Everybody has different talents developed in different ways. And collage as art form is a quite young technique; it has about hundred years only; that’s why it is not perceived seriously yet.