Henry Martin: What is your inspiration? Where do you find it?
Seana Gavin: From a young age I was obsessed with looking through my father’s collection of ’60s visionary art books and Science Fiction novels. This was during my early childhood in Woodstock, Upstate N.Y. which has always reminded me of Twin Peaks. The town was built on an Indian burial ground and it was said that no one should build there. Maybe that is why there is a history of supernatural sightings and UFOs in the area. This, as well as the air of psychedelia in the town, left a strong impression on me and has greatly influenced my work.
As I create fantasy landscapes and environments, I like to visit botanical gardens and natural history and anthropology museums. Of course, I also love to visit art galleries, where I am often drawn to traditional landscape painters like John Martin, as well as the fantastical scenes of Hieronymus Bosch.
I also get a lot of inspiration when I travel. I like to see, at first hand, all kinds of natural scenery and geological formations. Sometimes I include my own photographs of skies and land in my work.
Henry Martin: How do you work?
Seana Gavin: I start with a vision or theme in my mind. Then I go through my personal library of source material and put together imagery. I mainly use found photographic images from vintage books and magazines as I prefer the grainy quality of older photography. I often like to mix in contemporary stuff as it creates a good contrast.
The mood and environment usually come together organically – in an intuitive way, as if I am going into a meditative state. I always use scissors and glue, I have no digital skills. I feel this often forces me to be more creative with how objects combine and seam together.
Title: After the Floods. Medium: Hand cut collage on card. Year: 2016. Dimensions: 55 x 48cm.
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