contemporary art Johanna von Oldershausen Netherlands photo collage



// Johanna is an artist living and working in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, making digital collages with photographs. Trained in stage and theatre design for the stage and film, she initially applied her interest in collage art to costume design. More recently she began working with digital collages that include her own photographs and other elements.

Johanna always had a great passion for the medium of collage art and created her costume figures from snippets of photos. Experiments with an iPad led to a fascination with the use of a new technology to make collages. It allows her to build her digital collages similar to a construction of a theatrical scenery, using the method of combining different elements, stage curtains and sets, and playing with depths and illusions. She works with her own photographs, drawings and paintings and paper collages from magazine clippings.

“I can take any empty space and call it a bare stage. A man walks across this empty space, whilst someone else is watching him, and this is all that is needed for an act of theatre to be engaged.”

Peter Brook

What draws you to the arts?

“I’ve painted, drawn, made collages all my life without questioning the meaning at all. But now I am aware that it spurs me on to process the magic of theatre in my digital collages.” 

What do you like most about your theatrical collages?

“Giving people the chance to have a piece of theatre magic at home, especially now in these uncertain times. The theatre is for me a symbol of an experience of the here and now. An artistic moment that forces the present of actors and audience to take the time to interact and to be together in one room – here, now. A phenomenon that is unfortunately unimaginable these days.”

(Female) identity, how we fulfil different roles in our lives and how many versions of ourselves we can assume, are important topics in Carla Johanna´s work. In the theatre the reversal of roles happens with the help of costumes. She wants to investigate how different roles take shape in real life. Drawing from her previous work as a stage and costume designer, textiles, masks, lighting and set design are major elements in her collages.

The finished artworks are two-dimensional, but she always sees a three-dimensional room as well, because in her process she sees each digital collage as a little theatre production that tells a story and shows people in imaginary places.

Click on the photos to see the full image.

All photos © Johanna von Oldershausen

To see more of her photography art visit Johanna´s Instagram page and artist website.

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