This month’s cover was designed by Sarah Gamble, who uses vintage objects and materials to create her collage pieces. “I’ve always been a great collector,” she says, “so my house and studio are filled with drawer upon drawer of sequentially arranged objects, colours, papers. I love old toys that people have discarded and boxed games, things that are a bit torn or distressed, that have a bit of history to them. As much as I love the collaging, I love the collecting.”
The compass design is made up of around twelve different items: “it starts with a beer mat, then a record cover, then two protractors, then a tiddly wink, then a cocktail stick, then a cocktail stirrer and an electrical component that I found in Maplin. I finished by cutting the letters from an arithmetic book cover…” The objects were layered, glued on top of each other and then scanned, with minimal digital manipulation: “When I’m constructing something like this, I try to keep the pieces as they are. I could have made the electronic piece a bit bigger to fit, but I didn’t – the whole thing is just as it is.” The Viva masthead is made from a Vitality lightbulb box from the 1960s, which Sarah reluctantly ripped up to construct the lettering. “It was the most beautiful box!”
“A lot of my work is based on old technology,” she continues. “Cameras, radios, record players, computers and typewriters – those are the main themes that run through my work. And I try to base my choice of materials on the object I’m making. So I’ve got camera manuals from the 1950s and I’ve got some old typewriter books with amazing photographs in them.” Tying in with the adventure theme of this design, the background green is the back cover of a vintage atlas.
“I like the idea that a compass suggests travel and adventure, but also there’s something about the instrument that’s so beautiful in itself. Some of them are so simple, and then there are the older ones that are very ornate. I didn’t want the design to be too busy; a lot of my work just features a single item without any conflicting imagery.”
Sarah will be showing her work during Artwave, at The Old Forge in South Heighton (Venue 77). “I’ll have some originals in box frames, and I’ll have prints of my originals, and I’ve just ventured into cards,” she says. This year’s festival takes place from the 18th of August to the 2nd of September, with over 150 houses and studios open to the public. Pick up a brochure or plan your route at artwavefestival.org.