We each consume a place differently. Whether simply resting in public spaces or attractions, filling tour bus seats or obsessively taking photos, we capture, collect and consume the environments we visit. The collages of Travellers expose the moments when the personal and public, the fragmented and integrated merge while offering a painterly representation of the light and texture found in the environments we travel to. With this example of her figurative collage work, Jessie McNeil contemplates the complex scenario of travel and travellers today.
As McNeil travels through the city by bike or on foot, she gathers impressions of the urban place, through its people. These referential “digital sketches” are made with a camera, which are later used in the studio.
Gradually, bits of paper and mixed media are cut and layered to recreate the figures she captures on the street. McNeil believes that the visceral manipulation of printed matter, or the medium of collage, slows down the process of examining the manufactured image; a now fleeting and ubiquitous part of our hyper-visual urban lives.
While our everyday rituals are as consistent as the production and consumption of mass media, they are also precious and perhaps, in many ways, miraculous and worth representing. Scissors and a camera are her current psycho-geographic tools. They bring her joy and enhance her relationship with her environment. They help her study urban and cultural significance and the examination of figures and images in a landscape.