About

“Imagination is more important than knowledge”…(Einstein) 

John

This site is designed to collect my collage art, music projects and photography, thoughts and interests into a coherent whole.  I started getting into photography seriously in about 2002 after buying an old Nikon FM2 camera in London and experimenting with black & white photography and taking a couple of courses.  When that camera gave up the ghost I decided to go digital and get a Canon 400D which I’ve pretty much used for everything since.  I guess my specialist areas are music photos at gigs and festivals, road trips, city breaks, graffiti and abandoned places and ephemera, the things time has forgotten…

I started making collage art after seeing two exhibitions in London which had a huge impact on me, by the german artists Hannah Hoch at The Whitechapel Gallery and Kurt Schwitters at Tate Modern. The wonderful, beautiful and creative collage images I saw both fascinated and inspired me to make my own collages. I’ve always been interested in the avant garde, dada and pop art, popular culture, film and music and artists such as Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein and Peter Blake and the punk and post-punk graphics of  Jaime Reid, Linder Sterling, Peter Saville and Gee Vaucher and posters, flyers and record sleeves.  Subsequently i’ve become aware of other great collage artists like Jake Tilson, Robert Pollard, Pauline Boty, Robert Mars and the photomontage of Aleksander Rodchenko (“art is anything you can get away with” Warhol).

I have become a collector of images, old books, magazines, postcards, packaging, tickets and stamps. It’s great to rescue discarded ephemera, found images and create something new that is visually striking, creating art from the abandoned or neglected. I often start with an acrylic background using bright, vivid colours and add pieces until something resonates and starts to take shape. The juxtaposition of images can create new meaning.

I like photographing abandoned places and urban graffiti and distressed surfaces, the fragments of everyday life, these details are integral to the collages I make. It’s important not to think too hard about composition and not be afraid to experiment or try something a little crazy if it’s not working. The hardest part is knowing when to stop.

I play guitar and sing in post-punk band Pablo Alto based in Ledbury UK. We play a chaotic mix of Post-punk and garage rock, mainly our own songs with a few covers thrown in.  Influences range from bands like The Fall, bauhaus, Joy Division, The Cramps etc to The Stooges, The Velvet Underground and Can.  The first band I ever saw was The Clash at Manchester Apollo and I’ve never forgotten the life-changing impact it had on me…one hell of a gig…I ‘ve also now started Pink Drone, my electronic side project where I record everything myself playing various instruments and experimenting with different sounds which has kep me busy during lockdown and these weird times we’re currently living through. 

I’ve got various part-time jobs which keep me occupied when i’m not playing guitar and writing songs. My main work is for Ledbury Poetry Festival and through that I’ve discovered and met some amazing new poetry and poets and 60’s beat poetry in particular.  I’m drawn to anyone who is a creative free spirit and likes adventure, to bend the rules and step outside of conventions.  It’s important to question everything that we see, take a step back and to look at things from a different angle or perspective. Above all experience life, enjoy being creative and making cool art… as Bukowski said “Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead”… .

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