Rob Halhead-Baker is a collage artist living in London. After studying for an art foundation at Farnham UCA, he is currently completing his final year of BA Design for Interaction and Moving Image, with a focus on digital collage illustration. Rob’s work is a glorious mish-mash of images and palettes that seem to meld effortlessly with one another, exploring history, science, politics and everything in between.
Rob spends his time scouring through a collection of vintage magazines and books carefully selecting the striking images and viewing work by the inspiring figures that initially drew him to collage, which include the artists connected with the Dadaist movement, specifically Hannah Höch, Jamie Reid during the Punk era and contemporary collage artists such as James Gallagher and Rodrigo de Filippis.
He says, ‘My love for collage illustration began when I realised drawing wasn’t my forte. I was even advised not to take art at school because my drawing skills were so poor, but I’d always had a keen interest in design and didn’t let this hold me back. I found collage substituted my lack of drawing skills and I could use it to visualise my ideas. I firstly began with analogue collage and over the years I have excelled into digital collage.’
Rob’s processes include use of raw materials and digital manipulation, he experiments with space, size, and shape until all aspects of each piece seem to fall into place. Linking his attitude towards the compositions he produces to well-known schools of art that have influenced his style of working, he says, ‘I have a surrealist approach with my collage techniques and reinvent the imagery I’ve found to give it new meaning. It’s often comprised of cultural aspects, identity issues and general experimentation. I like to feel I am recycling discarded images that have been long forgotten, bringing them back to life.’