Katie McCann’s collages aren’t like any we’ve ever seen. Made out of vintage ephemera they’re inspired by the Victorian obsession with faeries, flora, and fauna. Moths, fungi, feathers, coral, shells, and butterfly wings, are all arranged and rearranged in unique configurations, resulting in images that are whimsical, leaning on the uncanny.
Often her paper cuttings are arranged to reveal a female face, which often acts as a reflection of the natural and sometimes magical world. McCann’s female subjects are surrounded (and more often than not, engulfed) by birds, fish, and butterflies or submerged in a dense wallpaper pattern which either represents their prison or their liberation, depends on your interpretation.
The materials composing McCann’s images are collected from books, prints, and pages that are antique, forgotten, and foxed with age. “I cut out images, categorize them and then eventually piece them together like a complex paper jigsaw,” she writes on her website.
Originally from England, where she went to fashion school, McCann returned to her art studies after moving to the US with her family. It was then that she became fascinated with collage art—a passion that would blossom some time later into a career.