An Interview With: Rebekah Boardman

Who are you and where did you study?

Hello, I'm Rebekah Boardman and I studied at Manchester Met/Manchester School of Art. 

What is your artist statement for the body of work “OBJECTification“?

“Too many of us now tend to worship self-indulgence and consumption. Human identity is no longer defined by what one does, but what one owns” – President Jimmy Carter. 

Rebekah has been exploring the concept of capitalism in relation to human identity and necessity versus luxury. Through appropriating images found in contemporary fashion, gadget and home magazines, Rebekah has been using the method of collage to create hard-hitting surrealist images that portray figure combined with product. She has expressed the physical “objectification” of the human being through advertising and desire, touching on what was referred to in the earlier quote: that identity is no longer related to what one does for a living, but to what one purchases with their living wage. Altogether this project comes down to highlight a contemporary society that is obsessed with consumption so much so the lines between necessity and luxury are blurred. 

What was your main inspiration for your work?

My biggest inspiration has always been my dislike for mass consumer culture and the saturation of advertisements in today's society. One artist I focused on throughout university in relation to my concept was Barbara Kruger because of her bold statements about capitalism and her use of appropriation art. When looking for inspiration for my approach to the style of my work I looked at an image book named "Cutting Edge: Contemporary Collage", which I would highly recommend to anyone interested in collage and the various different approaches to it.

What was the process of making these collages?

I'd go to my nearest shop and buy countless magazines (fashion, beauty, household, gadget - you name it) and flick through them cutting out different products. I'd then experiment with form and placement, taking a lot of pictures for visual comparison before making my final decisions and sticking them down to a piece of card. I wanted to create something of a product/human hybrid, so my creations were a mash up of factors from different types of magazine.

Why did you choose to use such vibrant colours?

It was mostly to capture the attention of the viewer as they would be attracted to an advert in a magazine. It was also a statement of irony, as the vibrancy and "cleanliness" of the designs together meant that they could almost been seen as advertisements in themselves. The whole project was kind of "meta" and about poking fun at the concept of advertising product.

What are your plans for the future?

I would love to teach myself how to use a wider scope of software (such as Illustrator, etc) and go on to work in graphics design, or perhaps take it more virtual and look into web design.

What is the best piece of advice you could give the viewers of The Pupil Sphere?

I found the most significant thing about creating art is that you believe in your work and in your style of practice. There is no better feeling than being completely comfortable in the way that you work.


All images copyright of Rebekah Boardman


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