Milly Charles

Artist Statement

There’s a transformative power in collaging with paper that always excites and amazes me. As I work on each collage I find a deep connection to the subject, whether it is a landscape, an animal or a person, a love develops. In this work I explore the ethereal, yet eternal nature of life which lives in the sacredness and beauty of the moment.

The paper creates a world where we are all made of the same material—the mountains, ocean, people, animals, rock, sky—all made of the same material, the same molecules. It manifests the connection that exists, making the inter-connection of all life visible even while engaging in the vast mystery.

Each collage is built up on the canvas using many individual pieces of paper that I cut or tear by hand. I use many types of paper including plain brown paper, newspaper, tissue paper, origami paper, and handmade Japanese, Nepalese and Korean papers. A matte medium is brushed on to each layer, making the paper adhere to the canvas and sealing it.

This type of collage offered up a medium to me that was a convergence of every other medium I had worked in. Finding it was a revelation and a wonder and a gift.

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