Sydney-based Harriet Moutsopoulos is a collage artist. Drawn to the surreal and unsettling, she seeks out the unexpected connections between humour and tragedy. Ultimately it is the way in which collage art challenges traditional notions of aesthetics, which she finds most appealing.
A: You work under the name Lexicon Love – what is the story behind the name?
HM: I would love to tell you that the name Lexicon Love is rooted in something profoundly deep and meaningful, but the reality is that ‘Lexicon’ is the name of a wall paint colour that I absolutely love.
A: You refer to your series as “collections” and the artworks as “products” – what is the thinking behind this?
HM: Interesting question! Each collection tells a particular story assigned a unique set of criteria. As I create each artwork or product, this criteria determines which collection the artwork will be placed in. I can add to the collection at any time, as the door is always kept open.
A: What is it about images from the mid-twentieth century that inspire the starting point in the process of creation?
HM: This period sees an abundance of staged and anonymous portraiture seemingly devoid of personality, which in turn provides me with the perfect breeding ground for violation and disruption.
A: If this part of the reason why you work with analogue techniques?
HM: Although my mental approach is analogue, my physical techniques are digital. The most significant challenge for me is giving each artwork the slight imperfections of hand and the general look and feel of being made entirely from traditional analogue practises.
To achieve this, I do not use any sophisticated software such as Photoshop or Illustrator. Instead, my tools of choice are extremely basic and closely mimic analogue techniques. It’s like working with your hands in the traditional sense.
A: With the proliferation of digital ways of working and living, do you think there still be a robust space for analogue approaches and techniques within the next few years?
HM: Absolutely, yes. The digital environment is overwhelming and seemingly without boundaries. There are so many delightful options and possibilities, but these come with a downside.
The lack of boundaries makes it easier to overwork a piece and even harder to recognise the end point of the artwork.
To me, the clear and obvious boundaries of analogue (making do with what you have) are instrumental to the tactile and intuitive connection between artist and artwork. This perspective is very difficult to replicate in a digital setting.
The work of Harriet Moutsopoulos appears in the Artists’ Directory in Issue 83 of Aesthetica. To pick up a copy, visit our shop: www.aestheticamagazine.com/shop
1. Far from Home. 45.5cm x 61cm.
2. Absent. 45.5cm x 61cm.
3. Zucchini. 45.5cm x 61cm.
4. Balter. 45.5cm x 61cm.
5. Forbidden. 25.5cm x 25.5cm.
6. Same Same but Different. 61cm x 61cm.
7. Green Dress. 45.5cm x 61cm.
8. The Banquet. 45.5cm x 61 cm.