Seiko Kato’s exhibition is a beautiful fantasy world of mushrooms, flowers, birds and animals. The artist creates many layered collages by cutting out tiny images from rare books and botanical magazines. Each image is carefully cut out by hand using a tiny scissors. She weaves together the images to create glorious nature scenes. The exhibition also includes strange mixed media curiosities housed in antique bell jars. Natural Selection presents an eclectic body of work, using objects from Victorian nature studies, anatomy and the decorative arts.
I have a brief chat with the artist.
Who are your favourite artists?
I would have to say Hieronymus Bosch and Ernst Haeckel. I get very inspired when I see their work. I love Bosch’s surreal creatures and landscapes and Haeckel has so much detail and a beautiful colour palette. Both are a constant source of inspiration.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
My inspiration comes firstly from nature and then the illustrator’s interpretation of the natural world. I cut out the pieces that I find most interesting from my collection of books.
Where do you find the images for your collages?
I find materials from Sunday markets, antique and vintage shops, charity shops and sometimes kind friends give me amazing books to cut.
What is your favourite piece in the exhibition and why?
My favourite piece in the exhibition is ‘Subterranean’ because this piece is the first big scale complex collage I ever made. I produced this when I was in my 3rd year at Brighton University studying illustration. I worked solidly from 11am-4am for three and a half weeks. I don’t think I can work that way anymore as it’s just too physically tiring. I still think some of the characters in that collage are some of my favourites.
The darkly surreal Subterranean is a hand cut paper collage created using cut outs of human body parts from a Victorian medical book. It takes the shape of an ominous skull with black holes for the eyes, nasal cavity and mouth.
Seiko’s exhibition takes place at The Corridor Gallery until the 31st December. There will be opportunities to see Seiko Kato‘s work live, which gives fascinating insights into her creative processes. The Corridor Gallery is one of Brighton’s hottest new exhibition spaces. The gallery and gift shop sells a wide range of affordable jewellery, accessories, art works, and prints. Keep an eye on the Corridor Gallery facebook page for updates.