Drawn to functional images found in old auction catalogues, issues of National Geographic or lifestyle magazines, Ben Branagan likens his ongoing series of collages to sketches, a way to work through ideas in a quick, informal way. The series, he explains, is a sort of inversion of American artist Susan Hiller’s suggestion that “the act of cogitation is a form of collage.”
The south London-based artist and designer’s previous collages have seen him repurpose instructional imagery from bodybuilding books, but he turns his attention to the world of objects in his latest, less orderly series.
“Where as previously I might have separated out a certain type of image or ones sourced from a particular place, with this series I want to collect a more chaotic or fragmentary view of the world, a heap of parts that overlap and intermingle, drawn from a wide range of sources; contemporary magazines, old books, things I’ve found, things I’ve photographed myself,” he explains.
“A lot of the motivations for the images are formal: certain shapes and contours suggest themselves, then repeat, lurking and moving through to subsequent images.”