Peter Clark Paper Collage Artist - UK

How did this amazing collage work happen?

My collage work gradually developed out of my illustration work, bits/areas creeping in, growing and developing. I began to love doing the paper collage a lot and adored finding the different papers

When did you decide to create your work from a palette of paper?

When people began noticing the collaged bits and passing on encouraging remarks about them.

Do you usually work on a ‘Series’ eg. dogs, garments?

Yes and no. I kind of grow into certain subjects, some take me over for periods of time and I like to occasionally revisit them and hopefully improve them.

Which comes first: the paper or the piece?

Sorry to be vague but it is both. I have ideas for a certain piece and begin to find the appropriate papers however other times I have some particular papers which yell out to be used for a certain image!

Can you discuss how and when you use maps?

I use maps all the time, for colour reasons, for information or joke reasons

I use the linear qualities within them sometimes to ‘draw ‘with, they are so versatile… can be very specific or used in an abstract way. I love them, they enable one to instantly play and change scale!

Very simply can you explain the process you take?

Very simply can you explain the process you take?

Arrange them roughly in order to achieve colours/scales, tear then cut and fold the pieces; glue them down, hey presto!

If it works… great, If not start again making changes till I’m ok with it.

What size is your work?

Varies from perhaps A2 to 2 or3 times that size or even bigger depending what I am trying to achieve or what I am working with.

ow about the size of your papers?

It is all OK papers come the size that one finds them.

Where do they come from?

God only knows! I find them everywhere I go, on the street, flea markets, and car boot sales. Paper fairs are places that I love going to and searching around, I go to markets wherever I travel.

How do you store them?

In many Muji transparent boxes and drawers

How do you remember and then find the piece you are looking for?

I remember where things are but importantly I rely on my assistant Dan to find me what I ask him for….mostly I have something in mind!

Can you discuss ‘Too – 2 – Step’ and this series?

This is a dress in a series of ballet tutus where I tried to do the bodice quite tightly showing the body shape and using in the main some sheet music covers for info.

Then in the ‘skirt part I intended it to be looser showing movement using and tearing and folding techniques which allowed it to be free and more 3D in contrast to the bodice. Using also sheet music and free flowing hand drawn lettering etc.

These are also 3D work. Can you expand on how you make the decision on when to add folds, layers etc.?

As above…it’s partly spontaneous and what I feel looks right. Having fun, letting the papers speak!!!!!

You exhibit around the world; can you expand on how you work up to an exhibition?

Think of an idea with subject matter, play a sound track, plan it and do it. It is down to a strategy really.

Can you comment on Stewart Collins statement, “There is nothing so enlivening as looking at a piece of art and laughing out loud”?

Not really but I like it that he feels that way!

You also add humour to your work by the choice of paper, for example your Hell’s Angel Jacket is made up from old Bibles and prayer books. Can you discuss this?

I try to inflict what amuses me onto my work!

Depth, firstly perspective within the piece then the further depth found within the papers you use, expand on this.

I prefer the pieces to have different levels, and allow shadows to play within them. Less boring and predictable that way, I don’t like things to be too worked out, I am not interested in that type of thinking.

Is one of the prerequisites that the work will bring a smile to you first?


Deborah Blakeley:Peter has released a book called Paperwork: Peter Clark by Matthew Sturgis. The book was so popular it has SOLD OUT!

On a more personal level you are recovering from a stroke. How has your art help with your road to recovery?

Simply it saved my soul and reintroduced some order and purpose into my days, initially just doing watercolours as I could only use my right hand.

Slowly and slowly I am reintroducing my body into doing collage [physio in itself] which requires using both hands and exercising patience

So far it’s going well; I am regaining my confidence and the energy to do it

So…onwards and upwards!


Contact details.


Peter Clark, UK

Interview by Deborah Blakeley, June, 2014