When Australian paper collage artist Alice Lindstrom was little, she liked cutting and pasting bits of paper to make her own staple-bound collage books.
Looking back over the twists and turns of her creative journey, it seems paper collage had always been her true calling, as it’s a unique art form that wholly reflects her personality.
Though she’s now based in Melbourne, Alice grew up in the Adelaide countryside surrounded by animals and nature. Wanting to encourage her artistic skills, her parents sent her to schools that focussed on art. But when it came time for university, Alice chose to broaden her education to prepare for a “proper job.”
She earned a Bachelor of Humanities in Philosophy from the University of Adelaide, followed by a Bachelor of Design from the National Institute of Dramatic Art. After working as a theatre designer in Sydney, Alice returned to Adelaide, where she earned graduate degrees in Museum Studies and Art History.
She soon realized that getting a “real job” and treating art as a hobby was not going to work since her passion for art was just too strong. Rather than curate the work of others, she wanted to create her own art and illustrations.
Both Alice’s father and grandfather were born in Germany. Her grandfather was a painter who had a big influence on Alice. He and Alice’s grandmother worked at an art school in Berlin.
In 2014, Alice moved to Berlin (where she lived for a year) to explore her artistic roots. Not only could she walk in the footsteps of her grandparents, she was able to frequent museums and art galleries, where she saw many of the works she had studied in her art history textbooks in person.
She started by painting with oils for a couple of years. Though she loved it — it was a medium her grandfather once used — she grew excited about reinventing the form using paper collage to resemble oils, thereby creating her own niche.
Over the years, Alice has practiced and refined her process, which involves painting sheets of paper with acrylics before cutting, assembling, and then gluing down individual pieces onto watercolor paper or board to create vibrant, textured portraits, still lifes, patterns, and painterly landscapes and interiors.
Her pictures are rich in narrative, character, and meaning, and have a contemporary feel while being informed by her background in theatre design and art history. She’s inspired by the natural world, mid century illustration and design, folk art, and modern art movements.
So far, she’s illustrated three children’s books: A Stage Full of Stories, written by Angela McCallister; Fox and Bird, written by Edwina Wyatt; and Beautiful Eggs.
Alice also has a “thing” for repetitive patterns and would love to design wallpaper, wrapping paper or fabrics. She’s also looking forward to more commercial projects, illustrating other children books, and organizing exhibitions.
Her clients include Penguin Random House New York, MoMa, Disney, Victorian Women’s Trust, The City of Melbourne, Hardie Grant Publishing, Quarto Publishing, and NPR, among others.
Alice and her partner Will (whom she met in Berlin) live with their two cats in Melbourne. Her favorite things include koalas, cauliflower, Judith Kerr’s Mog series, the color combination of deep turquoise and rich burgundy, and the word ‘effervescent.’
*Copyright © 2021 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.