OBJECTS OF DESIRE
A private view of cut-out femme fatales and reconfigured pin-ups.
by Seana Redmond
Reading time 6 Minutes
How would you describe your work?
Feminine, strong, graphic and playful. For some reason, I find the French seem to respond well to my collages.
Where did you find the images for your Chained Girls collages?
For this project it was vintage 60s and 70s magazines and photographs – I discovered some amazing photographs of pin-up women in an old bookshop in Germany.
What are you looking for in a vintage image?
I love discovering unusual, unseen images especially when there’s a piece of history or a story attached to them. I look for images with interesting silhouettes or images that are quite graphic. I love the idea of sourcing obscure references and injecting new life into them.
What element of Chained Girls inspired you?
The idea of censorship. The images I used would be considered tame today, but back then they were extremely explicit. I like the idea of taking images that originate from quite a crude context and making them into something that celebrates women. I found the male voiceover in the film quite irritating, offensive and verging on comical. So I focused purely on the women; I wanted to give them a positive platform in the form of collage, and from a female perspective, too. The sourced references echo the subject of women’s sexuality in the film and the beauty of the women as femme fatales.
How do you think the film has aged?
Visually it’s very tame compared with what we’re exposed to today, but it’s also extremely homophobic and dated. It speaks about lesbianism as if it’s a threat to society. We have come so far in celebrating our differences in sexuality; Chained Girls is so dated you feel like you’re watching a comedy when the narrator describes these women as ‘predators’. It’s made like a science or wildlife documentary. It’s a very telling example of how difficult it must have been to be gay during that time.
What makes collage art special?
It’s very playful, there’s a sense of pace to it, and it encourages you to look at an image in a different context. The natural imperfections are what make a collage unique – sometimes the unplanned mistakes are the best part. With so many of us living our lives through a screen now, maybe they stand out in a digital environment.
What are your obsessions?
Going to vintage and antique shops, fairs and flea markets are a constant for me. I’m always on the hunt for the perfect something. This all relates back to my collages; whether it’s an obscure vintage picture or magazine, a vinyl with amazing pull-out art work and typography or a forgotten music video. I also have a habit of buying skinny 1930s and 70s silk scarves; I don’t even wear them but I love the beautiful geometric and floral prints. And I’m obsessed with Whatever Happened To Baby Jane.
INTERVIEW Hannah Lack
Objects of Desire Gallery
Seana Redmond is a London-based art director and brand consultant. As a collage artist, her work has appeared in The Financial Times and Self Service, and on the Paris runway as part of a collaboration with Sonia Rykiel.