Gladys was born in Surrey, England, and is a self-taught artist specialising in collage. With a family history including two magicians, a carpenter and a seamstress, creativity has always been encouraged to blossom. However, her creative journey was far from straightforward. After accepting a place to study Fashion Textiles at Ravensbourne University London, she had high hopes for the future but by the time she graduated, after a period of exhaustion and illness in her final year, her creative spirit was lost. Gladys decided to pursue a traditional career path but dreamed of getting her creative spark back one day.
She spent the next decade working in various sales, marketing, and leadership roles, and whilst she enjoyed parts of each career, she didn’t feel truly fulfilled; it felt like something was missing. She realised one aspect of her life contributing to these feelings was that so much of her time revolved around screens; Working on a computer all day, watching TV after work, and then scrolling through social media before bed had become the norm. It was time for a change and now the itch to create instead of consume became too great to ignore!
After this epiphany and rediscovering textile prints created at university, Gladys was inspired to get creative again. After experimenting with a couple of different mediums in her spare time, she developed a passion for collage. Creating fun, playful art by hand sparked oodles of joy and a sense of fulfilment that had been sorely missed from her life. Her renewed creative journey had only just started when the Coronavirus pandemic was beginning to unfold. The UK went into lockdown and shortly after, Gladys was furloughed from her job. She suddenly had a lot of time on her hands, and she used this rare opportunity to spend all her time collaging. Gladys knew she was on the right path when she woke up feeling excited. Then, when she discovered redundancy was on the horizon, she decided to fulfil her lifelong dream of starting her own creative business and launched in February 2021.
Aesthetic, intricate, joyful; it’s collage but not as you know it. Collage is the art of reinvention and in Gladys’ work, she’s taking a fresh approach on how paper can be used in art. Starting with a drawing as a foundation, she builds each collage painstakingly by hand in a rich, maximalist style; working traditionally by hand, rather than digitally, encourages her to take a slow, considered approach and allows her to fully enjoy the creative process. Throughout each collage, every piece of paper is precisely cut and placed so they all fit together seamlessly like a jigsaw puzzle. She uses hundreds of different papers in each piece, juxtaposing bright colours and punchy patterns, so in the end, the subject matter is colourfully reimagined in an unconventional, exciting way, only recognisable through silhouette and shape. The focus of Gladys’ work is to highlight the beauty in things we often overlook and to create fun, flamboyant art that injects more colour, creativity, and happiness into the world.