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Kavel Rafferty

I am a multi-disciplinary artist, working in collage and assemblage art. In my work I examine the possibilities available when using found materials, such as old magazines, postcards and other appropriated images. There is value and beauty in this discarded stuff, and a frugal and relevant way of working in a time of mass production and waste. I mix abstract shapes, redact, edit and censor the photographs and text to create new stories about form, negative and positive space, women, masks (real and imagined) and sapphism. This work uses subtle visual tricks to make the viewer look again. My work has a slight tinge of nostalgia, because of the use of time-worn, second-hand acquisitions. I love a happy accident and want this spontaneity and unplanned nature to show in my work. It is important to me to acknowledge these ‘mistakes’. Creating order from the chaos. I am interested in exploring palimpsests, layers and the patina of aged elements; working with authentic materials is integral to my work. What I discover, whether at a flea market in Mexico City or on the streets of Margate, dictates what I make, that day or that week. These ‘finds’ can include anything from old porno mags and cookery books, to gardening publications and knitting pamphlets. These gathered materials are then examined, altered and combined to form a new image, a new narrative. I am looking at what is removed and what remains once an image is doctored, the text is removed or sections are cut — adding and subtracting until I have something I am happy with aesthetically. I look to compose something new and unexpected from what is left behind. I play with the original, using what is hidden and exposed to create intrigue. My work is an ongoing exploration of all these materials and tropes.