Naomi Azoulay is a Middle-Eastern-born, Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland)-based artist. She is passionate about exploring the female gaze and probing traditional gender roles through collage art.
Can you tell us a bit about your creative journey?
I was raised in a house filled with creative activity. My mum is a craft guru, she works across many different craft mediums. I’ve been consuming art and collecting art books from a young age, but I didn’t create my own art for years. I attended an art boarding school in my teens where I was exposed to different art mediums while studying video production. Post-school, I had to do my compulsory military service (reluctantly!) so my creativity was put on hold for a couple of years. When I went to university, I wanted to study art but ended up studying Art History instead. Obviously, I was a blocked artist.
Much later in life, as a solo mum for three young children, I went for a one-day collage workshop in the Coromandel which sparked my creative fire. I went back home and started cutting up magazines and gluing small squares of paper onto cardboard after the kids went to bed at night. It was an unstoppable flow of creativity that kept pouring out of me. Very quickly I moved from magazines to my precious art book collection, and from cardboard to wood panels. This flow hasn’t stopped since, I have been diving deeper and deeper into collage, creating as well as facilitating workshops and encouraging others to be creative.
What is it about collage you find the most magical?
Collage is an easily accessible, incredibly forgiving and effective art medium. I love how it has the capacity to connect different images from different eras and places. The most magical moments are when the right pieces of paper just come to you, in the perfect order, shape, and colour, without any effort. In other moments, magic comes in the form of a link between pieces that seemingly do not have anything in common. As an art lover it enables me to connect with the art and artists that I love, in a new way. I’m also passionate about collage as a gateway medium for other art forms. I get a real buzz sharing the gifts of collage with others not just because of the therapeutic qualities, but because it encourages artistic creativity.
What are some of the benefits of collage art?
Collage can be used as a tool for wellbeing not just for those suffering from mental health issues, but for all of us. The collaging process quietens the mind and allows us to dive into our unconscious inner-self. It enables us to...
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