Being of the opinion that Irving Penn changed our perceptions on what is beautiful: a poppy, blemished, shriveled or decaying; or discarded cigarette butts evoking ruined architectural columns. One wouldn’t necessarily think of the collage artist Martha Haversham.
And yet, things being what they are in terms of how something calls to mind something else, somehow, the odd, the leftover, the found, when collaged with scraps of old fashion mags, bits of newsprint, triggers a similar curiosity and inexplicably reverent irreverence to the stuff we usually disregard, leave out, toss away.
Paraphrasing Primo Levi, Haversham states “We are all dancing atoms of carbon. At a quantum level, particles move with unimaginable vigour so by extension, death becomes a different act in the minute ballet of life. The way in which this perpetual molecular dance affects our perception of time also intrigues and is explored in micro-installation and choreography in two-dimensional space. Through this prism, life’s detritus is elevated to truth, providing social commentary via unexpected means of articulation”.
A day’s wanderings (usually with her dog meandering about the streets or woods) allows for the raw materials of her daily explorations. Flowers, bottle tops, lettuce leaves and candy wrappers somehow make their way into her fluid, imperceptibly mobile creations.
Yes, trash is a supreme material these days. Highly regarded. But with Haversham, trash has without a doubt become a medium also of “high” fashion. This sounds a lot more serious than it is – in truth she has wit and humor and absurdity which undermines the natural gravitas of the art world.
Here’s a selection of some of our favorite pieces. You can also follow her @smallditch on Instagram.