DESIGN UNDEFINED: Q&A WITH KARA BIEBER

Design Undefined features designers who are blurring the boundaries of art and design, showcasing their work at Clerkenwell London. This month is the Makers & Curators exhibition. 

Kara Bieber portrait

Clerkenwell London is elated to host Kara Bieber and her unique brand of collage art as part of our Makers & Curators exhibition.

Kara began her career as a photographer, winning ‘Woman Photographer of the year’ in the Venice International Photographic Competition 2005 at the tender age of 19. Still a photographer, Kara began creating her collages to bring some vibrancy into a grey day. We speak exclusively to Kara to find out how she got into collage art and what makes her tick.

How did you get into collages from your photography background?

I may have been an exhibiting photographer since the age of eleven but being creative by personality and not just profession means I have always been exploring different art forms.

Collage came about quite accidentally on a particularly grey and grotty winter day when I decided to take matters into my own hands. In the pursuit of creating sunshine, vibrancy and an escape, I reached for scissors and glue and set about chopping up the nearest colourful publication I could find to counter the reality outside.

The result was entirely unexpected yet absolutely did the trick, far more effectively than a vitamin D supplement! Not only was it highly enjoyable but it became enormously addictive and before I knew it, in the following months, I created more than forty works, each a story of its own.

How has your experience in photography contributed to your style of collage work?

My collages are an act of recreation and imagination, produced through the up-cycling of magazines, they are suspended between realism and fantasy.

It is my artist’s soul that creates these otherworldly universes and it is my photographer’s eye that gives them a sense of perspective thus grounding them and making them, as far as I’m concerned, entirely believable.

Where do you get your inspiration for your collages? What are your influences?

Whilst I take my work seriously, simultaneously I don’t take it seriously at all, it is playful with a purpose – to put a smile on the viewers face and in doing so, to put one on my own.

The fusions that I encounter on a daily basis are my influences and passions, be it flower arranging, cooking, travelling, curating my magazine Yes Please!, composing on the piano, designing my Instagram, and my latest foray into visual merchandising, I can’t help living life as one big collage.

What’s your process for making each collage?

Whilst the desired outcome is entirely unconscious, the first steps are totally deliberate.

It all begins with one key image, either a background crying out to be embellished, or a single eccentric character demanding a stage, it then becomes my duty to create a self-contained world in which they can thrive.

You have lived in Florence, Tel-Aviv, Buenos Aires amongst others, how has your international lifestyle influenced your work? Where did you feel most at home and why?

One of my great loves is piecing together the puzzle of the world via regular travel and living abroad. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than encountering cultures, engaging with locals, sampling the delicacies and settling into the societies.

The amalgamation of all of this is perhaps what gives my work it’s foreign flare. Despite having grown up in the same house my entire childhood, any place where I can decoratively hang my jewellery from picture frames, lampshades, and anywhere else, is where I can make home!

What’s your favourite collage, if any, and why?

The creation process of each collage is so intimate, enjoyable and unique it feels compromising to choose a favourite, but if you promise not to tell the others, I do have one!

‘This Is A Slow Peaceful Road’ combines glamour, travel, language, pop art, the unexpected, and naughtiness; the more you look the more you see, there certainly is the odd surprise!

We’re thrilled to have you exhibiting in our space! How do you feel about exhibiting at Clerkenwell London?

I too am thrilled by this collaboration. It is such a pleasure, and a temptation to be showcased in an environment where I wish to buy everything in it!

It has been an utter delight working with such personable and professional people, I am sure this is the start of a wonderful relationship and I look forward to our next project together!

View “POP BUY!” in the Front Room at Clerkenwell London from now until 10 November.

Contact us at info@clerkenwell-london.com for all artist enquiries

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