Artist Profile: Girlplague’s Cool Collage Workshop

Cut and Paste with a Montreal Artist

  • “signs of a storm” paper collage, 2017. Collages by Girlplague

There’s something to be said about the meditative qualities of collaging; the ebb and flow of cutting and pasting, the freedom to compose whatever speaks to you, regardless if the image could exist in a real-life landscape.

Maybe it’s why Girlplague has been cutting and pasting for years. The Montreal-based artist—who started by making collage covers for her CDs as a kid—works in collage, glitch art, and wheat pasting. Her work is often minimal in their composition, but the imagery she uses speaks volumes on subject of body and mind.

“I’m really open about dealing with mental illness and the hard emotions like loneliness, despair, and anxiety. I feel like that fuels me a lot, ‘cause I’m always trying to do stuff to try to stay afloat,” she explained about the crucial themes in her work.

She’ll be instructing a two-hour collage workshop at McGill’s Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies on Nov. 30, with techniques and composition at the core in an intimate and cozy setting.

“no object constancy” glitch art and collage, 2015.

The workshop encourages students to bring their own materials. Girlplague’s collages often feature body parts cut from porn mags as well as landscapes, animals, furniture, and other interesting textiles to put together colourful works both physically and digitally.

“There’s a lot of people like me, especially at my events, who want to get into collage more, but they just don’t know how or have the money,” she said. But collaging at home doesn’t have to cost anything. Girlplague’s materials are often things she finds on the curb.

“People are always throwing stuff away,” she laughed. “I’m really into getting them for free, I kind of refuse to pay for collage materials.

“I’m really into getting them for free, I kind of refuse to pay for collage materials.”— Girlplague

Collage as a legit artform may be underrepresented in big museums and galleries, but Girlplague says she doesn’t let that stop her.

“People don’t take it seriously a lot of the time, because it’s something they did as a kid,” she explained. “But I think that there’s something really human about it. It reminds them of being a kid or doing something in class. I think that kind of medium really speaks to people and strikes a cord.”

Collage Workshop with Girlplague // Nov. 30 // McGill Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies (3487 Peel St.) // 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. // $25 // more info //

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