Gillian Theobald

There is a certain kind of magic in the process of collage-making, when the original purpose of what is becoming a collaged fragment is lost and found as something radically different. In her relief collages, Gillian Theobald follows this course of transformation, taking it further by using material that has already suffered its own destruction: single-use packaging, whose loss of use implies a tentative loss of meaning. This starting condition underwrites both the abstract and the three-dimensional nature of Theobald’s pieces. In more traditional collages, incongruous fragments of diverse yet recognizable origin would integrate and disintegrate, generating a space of multiple meaning. Theobald’s collages appear to be solid abstract objects in their own right, offering a certain singularity of expression and reading. Their there-dimensional form is dictated by the waste paper and cardboard material, making the collages intriguing in their ruin-turned-art esthetics. As a unique amalgamation of repurposed material, each collage-object possesses a visceral, expressive energy. Volume plays an important role here, being folded and unfolded by shape and color—Theobald’s color palette is striking in her choice of saturated pigments, and intrinsic to the dynamic dialogue between the shape and the material of each piece.
-Elena Deem

Found packaging, acrylic, and staples