Photo of the artist showing the process of choosing and arranging postage stamps

For each piece a straightforward concept is executed with meticulous precision. The decision to work at a particular scale with a certain colour palette, in context with the subject matter, creates a unique and fascinating experience for me during the process of making.

The careful placement of stamps in a strict geometric grid gives each piece a digital quality; each stamp is similar to looking at a pixel close up. At an exhibition, the viewer sees each stamp with its subtle variation in colour and postmark, which suggest individual stories. Yet when viewed from a distance, the works have an organic feel similar to an impressionist painting.

Mav The Artist

I like to work at small and large scales. The smaller works play with the ability of the eye and brain to interpret limited information and see what is not really there; in effect the brain tricks the eye into filling in the detail. The largest works are more detailed and become almost photographic.

Because the image is best viewed from a distance, I don’t really see the piece until it is complete. My largest work to date (Kurt Cobain) measures 252 x 476cm and was completed in a small flat in a room significantly smaller than the finished work. There is a depth to the work that is intriguing for both me as the artist and for the viewer, triggering repeated views from a variety of perspectives.

Mav The Artist

The stamps are manufactured by a printing process that has slight variations and then each stamp has a journey through the postal service which can cause wear and tear. Some of the stamps are quite old, even pre-decimal.

The variations in colour and shade, along with differences in postmarks, make each stamp unique. I use these individual variations to ‘paint’ each work, often changing individual stamps to make subtle improvements to the overall image. The precision, attention to detail and creative decision making allow me to experiment whilst  controlling the creative process.