Category Archives: Collage

Abigail Reynolds Interview

'Greenwich 1971/1950', Abigail Reynolds, 41.5 x 26.5 cm, 2010
‘Greenwich 1971/1950’,
Abigail Reynolds,
41.5 x 26.5 cm,

How does photography play a part in your practice?

It’s a material; it’s a document of a set of attitudes and of time. I never take my own photographs; I work rather as a content manager. I think through the obvious aspects of photography; time, the lens, the sense of a document or witness and how we treat these ideas now. I don’t only work directly with photographs, but my wider practice is driven by aspects of the photographic. So in making a dance work with the Rambert company last December I began to work with panels stripped out of Rambert’s old dance studio which I thought of as a 30 year exposure – there was no image of course, but 30 years of stains made by continuous rehearsal in a confined windowless space.

'National Gallery 1985/1988', Abigail Reynolds, 21 x 24 cm, 2010
‘National Gallery 1985/1988’,
Abigail Reynolds,
21 x 24 cm,

Has the attitude towards photography changed since you first started making work? 

Images images move around faster and more widely than they used to, which makes my work easier… though the Guardian images I have worked with recently are not digitised yet, and maybe never will be as they have small commercial value, so I had to do it myself, informally. This fluidity of movement makes images more fluid themselves; more detached from their referents, which sometimes works against my interests, as the attitude of the image that interests me, which includes its context/origin.

How do you select the images you use in your work?

Reportage photographs especially interest me something in them transcends their purpose is to objectively report and becomes mythic.

'Post Office Tower 1989|1999', Abigail Reynolds, 27 x 25 cm, 2009
‘Post Office Tower 1989|1999’,
Abigail Reynolds,
27 x 25 cm,

What significance do geometric shapes and patterns have in your work?

They allow the simultaneous presence of two entire images, if they are folds. They allow an intense compression of subject. The precise geometries of tiling the plane have become less important to me over time.

'Admiralty Arch 1977/1950', Abigail Reynolds
‘Admiralty Arch 1977/1950’,
Abigail Reynolds

What piece of art do you admire above all others?

I have a huge mental list of works I admire and have admired. But, for the purposes of this questions let’s say ‘The show is over’ by Christopher Wool.

At what moment did you decide to pursue art as a profession?

When my mother died in 1997. The same year as D-I-A-L History by Grimonprez.


What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

I am especially averse to advice. So I generally do something sideways with advice that’s pressed on me. Feeling free to make your own rules is essential (which is of course a piece of advice).

Are you currently working on a new project?