We sat down with Catherine Rogers, founder of Cut Out Collage and Resident of Make Baltic, to bring back our Monthly Maker series. Catherine makes beautiful collage pieces, fine line drawings, reclaimed furniture, and her signature wire birdcages. Over a coffee, we discussed what inspired her to make art and what she’s got coming up. (Including some exciting upcoming collage workshops.)
Hi Catherine! Firstly, What do you make or do?
I make collages, repurposing images to become something new, whether that be rearranging them on paper and card or pasting them straight onto furniture or ceramics. I enjoy forming a new story for images and seeing what emerges. I love giving a new lease of life to objects which is where upcycling comes into my practice. And finally, I’ve loved making bird cages since university. I’m not sure why it started but I know I’m hooked.
What sparked your passion for collage and making art?
I’ve been an artist since high school. I always loved looking at art and being in galleries, but my obsession with making my own stuff grew in my early teenage years.
My mum is a very gifted artist, she inspired me from a young age. I used to copy her drawing style any time I could, scribbling in sketchbooks, always practicing. I’m very grateful for that creative influence very early on, she’s still a much better drawer than me though, so I’ve got more practicing to do. My goal is to exhibit with her one day, I’ve just got to convince her!
You’ve had the chance to work on lots of cool things. What has been your favourite project to work on?
A project at university where I made a 12-foot installation. The walls, ceiling, and floor narrowed as participants walked through the space, creating an experience of feeling like you were getting bigger as the room got smaller. This pushed people’s limits and tolerance for having less freedom to move. I filled the space with handmade furniture, artworks, and recordings, giving the viewer an overwhelming sensory experience. Some people even reported feeling emotional when they left the space. It seemed to affect people differently. I loved making that space, it marked a huge growth in my artistic thinking.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking of working for themselves?
It’s never going to feel like the perfect time, so go for it. As soon as it seems slightly possible, grab your chance. I still feel like there is a long way to go, but I’ve never felt more excited to get up in the morning, it’s worth it.
What are you working on next?
Developing my workshop series. I’ve had a great response to my January and February workshops so I’m now working on a monthly ‘Collage Revolution’ workshop starting from March. These will be in my Make Baltic studio. I’m also developing a series of stylised fine line drawing and collage on furniture workshops, as well as an advanced collage workshop series where we explore in-depth styles, composition techniques, and scalpel skills, taking collage to another level. I’m passionate about accessibility so I’m committed to always creating a range of spaces to suit people’s needs and budgets. So there’s exciting stuff to come.
What’s it been like having a studio at Make?
I really love it. I find it incredibly useful having other creatives around me, it’s inspiring and helps when I feel stuck.
Where can people find your work?
I’m preparing for a Crowdfunder campaign which will start in the first week of March. This will launch my Etsy store online where I will be selling a wide range of collages, drawings, prints, upcycled pieces, t-shirts, and totes. For all those who pledge to the campaign, there’s going to be some fantastic rewards so be sure to keep an eye on our social media for more information.
finally, I am speaking at Make’s ‘Maker Meetup’ event at Make North Docks in March, so come and say hi!