One only has to glance at øjeRum’s collages to be transported into another world. Like Dorothy entering technicolor Oz, vintage printed figures open up to reveal new realms of color, emotion, and energy. The characters in Silent Figure with Landscape unveil hidden dimensions—from dreamy forests to glacial terrain—awe-inspiring windows of expression. Art Editor Arah Ko and Associate Art Editors Heather McCabe and Cat McMahan asked about øjeRum’s inspiration and process.
Arah Ko: Your artwork contains so much mystery and story–can you tell us a little more about your inspiration and process? What goes into creating one of these pieces?
øjeRum: I try to make my collages in a way so it isn’t obvious what they mean or represent. I think I’m mostly inspired by moods and atmospheres in music. I like how music can create something that is beyond explanations and words.
Cat McMahan: Your handcut collages feature some really beautiful vintage clippings. How does the age and value of those clippings affect your process?
øjeRum: I love antique papers and often the papers I use are from 1880 – 1900. The textures and patina of these old papers and their embedded history sets the mood for the atmosphere I’m trying to create.
Heather McCabe: Your collages work to combine form with landscape through pastiche—how does this combination and the medium itself work to expand our understanding of both subjects?
øjeRum: I think the figures and their history could be seen as being expanded by the collages and giving a new or alternate life. They might be viewed as the same figures from classical paintings or as new figures with a new essence. In any case, the coupling of different clippings creates a new atmosphere and invites a renewed interpretation.
HM: I’m intrigued by the preservation of the subject’s eyes in many of your collages: how do you imagine gaze in your work? how does landscape engage and redirect our sense of looking and seeing?
øjeRum: By preserving the eyes the collages gain a more intense impact I think. Sometimes the figures I use are actually smiling but after cutting away everything but the eyes they can suddenly seem austere or even sad. As such the eyes might indeed be viewed as a window to the inner workings of the figures. The landscape might be viewed as representing these inner worlds, but I’ll leave it to the viewer to interpret what they see and feel.
AK: I know music is important to your background, how do you see your visual artwork in relation to sound, or the lack of sound? Does it have any significance to the title of the series–Silent Figure with Landscape?
øjeRum: I do music myself and music is probably my main inspiration when making collages. For me, the process of making collages is very similar to making music and in a certain sense, I think one could view all art and artistic creation as a sort of collage. No matter the medium it can be seen as a matter of putting together objects, words, colors or sounds to create an expression. In this creation, silence or empty space is as important as the filled spaces and often the silence does indeed seem to, as they say, speak louder than words.
AK: How did you choose the name øjeRum?
øjeRum: The name øjeRum (eyeRoom) came by as a happy accident when playing around with a sort of random-word-generator computer program. For me, these kinds of happy accidents are an important part of the process of creating collages and sound.
AK: What’s next for you as an artist? Is there anything you hope people take away from seeing your art in the future?
øjeRum: I’m always excited to be able to do what I do. The future will bring more collages and more sounds, more figures, more eyes, more landscapes and more silence.
You can find more original artwork by øjeRum on Instagram @øjeRum or online at linktr.ee/Oejerum.
øjeRum is a Copenhagen-based collage artist and music maker.