Sarah Eisenlohr


A look back at the 70’s, a skiing holiday in Montana, an old picture of South Tyrol. It’s not about postcards, it’s about collages: Sarah Eisenlohr, a young artist from Montana tells us about her latest work, where she focused on nature through nostalgic images from the past. Passing by metaphysics, she creates beautiful landscapes, deep perspectives and colourful images that might remind us of our childhood. Inspired by nature, she constructs fantastic sets where snow, flowers, trees and animals play together in a perfect recital. Let’s get to know her through her beautiful collages.

SARA G. — Hi Sarah, let’s start by you telling us something about yourself: where do you come from? How old are you? Tell us something about your past and your present.
SARAH E. — Hi! I live in Lakeside, Montana right now, where I grew up. I just graduated from the University of Montana, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting. I’m back home for the summer to work and then this fall I’ll move to Bozeman for school in Graphic Design. I’m 24 years old.

SARA G. — I see lots of nature in your collages, do you think your work is somehow inspired to Montana, where you studied?
SARAH E. — When looking through magazines, I think I’m most attracted to images that involve nature, pretty and colour. I really like mountains, too. This might have to do with living in Montana, because it’s all of those things.

SARA G. — How does that work usually? Do you flick through a magazine and see something that catches your eye, or do you imagine an entire landscape first and then try to create a collage of what you already have in mind?
SARAH E. — When I get a hold of some new magazines, I start my collage process by cutting out every page that I get excited about. Things that I’m usually looking for are people, landscapes, skies, patterns, mountains and unique objects. Afterwards, I arrange them into a collage.

SARA G. — Which are your favorite subjects for your works?
SARAH E. — Lately, I’ve been relating a lot more of my collages to personal life.

SARA G. — Snow comes up in many of your collages, could you tell us why?
SARAH E. —That’s funny, I had never noticed how many involve snow until now. I ended up making ‘A Request for Snow’ and ‘Spring Skiing’ during winter break, after being under the influence of so much of it around me, then I recently made ‘Night Skiing’ for a friend who’s really into skiing. I think that’s because I’m attracted to mountains in general, my other collages happen to have snowy mountains in them.

SARA G. — There is something metaphysical to your images – some of your perspectives remind me of De Chirico, is that intentional? I’m referring to works like ‘Tent'”‘, for example.
SARAH E. — That’s a good point, I could see the influence of the Metaphysic/Surrealist movements. However, ‘Tent’ was arranged together by color palette rather than inspiration from an artist or style.

SARA G. — Some of the images look quite innocent, the grain of the paper you use looks old. Do you take your images from old magazines? Do they somehow bear a relation to childhood?
SARAH E. — Yes, I use National Geographics from the 1950s-70s. I think the quality and style of the era is more engaging through the nostalgia it creates, compared to modern, commercial photography. So I didn’t intentionally use older material to base it on a theme, I was just attracted to the look.

SARA G. — You started out with painting – when did you start making collages and how?
SARAH E. — Last year in school, I was taking Painting and another art class called Mapping. Mapping was a brand new class, so it was very unconstrained to allow for us to use a range of media incorporating maps and art together. For my final project I wanted to try out collage, so in one night I ended up creating the first seven pieces of my Mapping series. It became my favorite material to work with so I also began to incorporate it into my paintings. My focus in BFA was painting, but I ended up only using magazine collage for my senior thesis exhibition.

SARA G. — I really love the one called ‘Sheets’ – do you have a favourite piece? Can you tell us about your favorite ‘child’?
SARAH E. — Thank you! That seems to be everyone’s favorite of the Comfort series. Haha, I think I have two children. My first one is ‘Sunset’ and my most recent is ‘Rocks’. I have a difficult time parting with a lot of them, though.

SARA G. — What are you working on right now? Do you also work on commission?
SARAH E. — The last couple days I’ve been going through my material and making room for a lot of new magazines that I’ve been given this summer, by friends and family. I’m beginning to cut out pages now, so I hope to have some new collages soon. My first will be for a collage swap with Nathaniel Whitcomb. I have some ideas for collages that have been floating around for months, so I know some of them will involve paint, patterns and floral collage. I’m really excited to get started.

SARA G. — You already told us about your past and your present, what about your future? Do you have any plans?
SARAH E. — A few weeks ago I realized what I wanted to do with my life – become an artist! I guess more specifically I’d like to make my own prints with my own printer and be able to distribute them in packaging with my own label and designing on it. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to going back to school for Graphic Design so I can start moving in that direction.

August 2013