You might recognise Jess Littlewood‘s work from the cover of William Arcane’s Permanence EP. We asked Jess a couple of questions in the run up to her solo show, Island Folly which runs 31st May 2013 – 29th June 2013 at Bearspace Gallery in South London .
How do you use photography in your work?
I work with found images so although the photograph is essential to my practice I wouldn’t say that I use photography. I use the photographs of others because I want there to be something unknown within the work, something mysterious, I like not knowing what country a particular mountain is in, or the exact location of a ruined castle. I also like the idea of collage having a bit of an anarchic history, and taking images from wherever you find them feels like it is maintaining that spirit in some way.
Where do you find your source images?
Source imagery comes from everywhere and anywhere, google images acts like a never ending random image generating machine and unusual books and old photographs are always great for finding something distinctive or strange. I am constantly looking for interesting imagery that catches my eye, and have made an extensive Digital archive over the last few years which is great and means that images can be used again and again which begins to give them a more iconic significance within my visual language.
How does working digitally affect the creative process?
My work began in a really basic cut and paste way, making simple collages from images I would scan and print. Eventually these collages became more and more elaborate and large scale. At this point I started to work digitally because it just wasn’t practical to make the work by hand anymore, but I still wanted to keep a cut and paste feel to the work so I try and stay as true to the essence of collage as I can. Although it was originally a practical decision, working digitally is now intergral to my practice, there is something interesting about exploring basic primitive human traits through such a modern medium.