Laura Iseley

American, 1998



In her elaborate collages, artist Laura Iseley aims to revive the ephemeral. Her works often consist of hundreds of pieces that are painstakingly cut and assembled by hand to create unified and layered worlds. 

Ever since 2019, Iseley has found inspiration in the discarded. With a minor in studio art in the one hand, and a scalpel in the other, books, magazines, and newspapers have become the artist’s medium and playing field, hunted down by sifting meticulously through bins at the thrift store or, sometimes, even found discarded on the side of the road.

Her collage work demonstrates the unity and beauty that is to be found in every nook and cranny, a tossed wrapper, or a decorative corner of a spare flyer. The printed imagery that is so often taken for granted is given new life by carefully being cut and manipulated. Iseley seeks to revolutionize the medium by creating as much cohesion as possible – a real challenge when all pieces are of different texture, colour, and source. Her methodology can best be described as ‘painting with paper,’ as the final work looks, upon first glance, more like a painted scene. Only upon closer examination is it recognizable as an eclectic collage assembly.

As a native to North Carolina, the artist spends hours scouring the plentiful antique and junk shops local to the Piedmont region, searching for the perfect vintage frame for every collage. Though pre-loved, each frame is matched aesthetically with the piece it holds inside and becomes an integral part of the final artwork.

Iseley’s original collage work has found a home in private collections in Switzerland, Australia, Canada, and coast-to-coast across the United States from Washington to Virginia. In 2022, Iseley joined The International Collage Guild as a recognized maker in her craft.