Pum | Her Surreal Collage Explained

Posted by Kim Soep on

Pum, the Glasgow-based collagist and painter, talks about her new series of work Earth Echo: Affective Reflection and explains how collage is more to her than just making art.

Kim: Why is collage your medium of choice?

Pum: Collage process is an expression of my autistic brain process, and the need to physically handle ideas, the carefully cut, placed spaced and considered compositions are literally an act of Making Sense; it’s a sensory process for me to locate meaning. It helps me manage my condition and alleviates the anxiety and frustration I feel. Through a feelosophy of visual clues, I enter a realm that is free of tension and struggles.

Kim: Where do you source most of your imagery?

Pum: Everywhere, anywhere. Wherever I see a fragment, a shade, a shape, like a pictogram language of picture ideas, details, scraps, textures. I like synthesizing ideas through a gradient of greys, sepia, shades of shadow and light. I prefer old lithographic reproduction form of early 20th century materials to late 1970s .

Kim: You completed a degree in philosophy, is this something that informs your practice?

Pum: Yes. Some of the philosophers I encountered during my studies (Merleau  Ponty, Heidegger, Habermas, Foucault, Jean - Francois Lyotard - modern continental philosophers) still very much inform my creative process and thinking. So much so, I would call myself a Heideggerian. The Earth Echo series references late Heideggerian through its imagery and text, asking that we gently question and be aware of our human relationship to our world, earth and expressions of technological invention .

Kim: Can you tell us the premise behind the work presented at your solo show, 'Earth Echo: Affective Reflection'?

Pum: Earth Echo is a series of collage that explores language and communication. It’s inspired by Heidegger’s theory that  “We speak when we are awake and we speak in our dreams. We are always speaking even when we do not utter a single word aloud……..we encounter language everywhere”. I feel this is particularly relevant when we look at our unquestioning relationship with digital media. I try to capture the invisible ellipsis which fragments the sentient sense. The ever present language of the digital world and its insistence on measuring and comparing areas of existence that are immeasurable.

Kim: I have selected one of my favourite collages from the Earth Echo series - The Mute. Can you explain the thinking behind each artwork?

Pum: The Mute focuses on an astute eye, that hangs speechless amidst the chaos. It seems to be watchful and calm but is suspended frozen at the centre of a mental storm. What happens when speech is not available, when the proliferation of flux around ones mind is engulfed by a ghastly envelope of numbness.


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