Michelle Rashbrook identifies three significant sources of inspiration which have influenced and continue to influence her abstract paper collages. The first is the paper itself. An important stage of Michelle’s process is a period of investigation and exploration of the paper she is going to use. The use of a particular distressing technique discovered during this stage might, for example, be later employed during the making of a collage to achieve a visual texture.
The second source can often be the printed imagery on the paper itself. When re-purposing magazine paper for a collage, a printed image may be strong enough to become the main subject of a piece. Through cutting and experimentation, the component parts of the image are re-composed, resulting in the production of often strong graphic abstract pieces.
A third significant influence for Michelle comes from items which have been produced using other practices entirely, often very traditional ones. Hand weaving and sewing are examples of this. The organic unevenness of nineteenth century hand-sewn quilts which were made from re-purposed fabrics, ethnic garments and kilims pieced together from woven strips etc. have influenced some of Michelle’s techniques, producing more detailed and organic patterns.