Fran Gordon

Using sources as diverse as 1950s educational films, dusty tomes from the Glasgow School of Art library, and her own photographs, this newly graduated designer uses collage to explore ideas of repetition and the cultural impact of technology.

Large  desert rock sinks   collage  2013  fran gordon

'Desert Rock Sinks', Collage, 2013

What do you find interesting about working with collage?

Working with collage enables me to explore and exploit different contexts and meanings. Using images means I can instantly tap into a history, time or a feeling that couldn’t be shown in, say, a drawing. Photographs have a realness and familiarity, even when we’ve never seen them before. Using collage creates chance moments, where two images simply fall into place. For me, this sparks ideas and makes it such an exciting material to work with. 

Tell us about your Two Methods project.

Two Methods is a body of prints, which like much of my work, explores themes of image reproduction and aura. I explore these ideas through both printmaking and virtual processes. Images being copied and pasted, for example, eliminates originals and creates mass similarities, mediation and re-makes. I am both fascinated and irritated by the cultural implications that technology has on our current daily lives. Two Methods attempts to expose the loss and overlap which happens between real and virtual images, histories and processes. Similar to using found imagery, the text used in the project was found in 1950s educational film footage uploaded to YouTube, explaining how factories produced washing machines and TVs. The production line, and the idea of working in cycles and repeats seemed appropriate to connect the themes of the project.

How did you source your images for Metamorphosis?

The images for Metamorphosis are a mix of photos I took in Prague, and from a few books about insects and ballet I found in Glasgow School of Art’s library. The library’s collection was a great source because so many of the books were completely bizarre. They hadn’t been taken out for years and had a certain appeal visually. I am always on the look out for old books to use as source material, I then photocopy the images and start to play around.

What inspires you?

I couldn’t pin-point what exactly inspires me to create work. I just have an urge to make things, and to make images. I like to stimulate ideas by going to exhibitions, reading, scavenging through charity shops for books, and looking through archives. Keeping a note of everything visual that interests me is really important.

Tell us about something you’re working on at the moment?

I am at the very early stages of projects at the moment, so I’m really just getting stuck into researching and making new work. I am working towards a few exhibitions in Glasgow, which is really exciting. I’m also starting to experiment with new materials such as different chemicals to reproduce images very simply, and trying not to rely on old methods too much. 

What do you hope to do now you have graduated?

I hope to keep making work that excites me, and to push myself as an artist. It feels good to have graduated and have time to explore ideas at my own pace. I’m doing a residency at Hospitalfield Arts in October, which I am really looking forward to and will also be starting a MA in Printmaking at the Royal College of Art in 2015.