Interview of Romy Listo by Sophie Pellegrini
Tell us a bit about yourself, Romy!
I’m Romy and I hail from Brisbane, Australia. I’m a 23 year old lover of yoga, music, and art and I’m a bit of a coffee addict. In my other life, I’m a PhD student in sociology.
How did you get started in the arts?
I’m more or less self-taught as an artist. Art was my favourite class in high school–I was one of those people who liked spending lunch times in our school photography darkroom or painting, but after I graduated I let it fall to the side a bit. Then about a year or two I started to really crave a creative outlet again and began making collages. I guess now I feel like I have something to say with my art, and so I’m trying to find some places for my voice… I don’t really know what I’m doing though, I’ve barely exhibited my work and I basically got started by posting on Instagram!
Tell us a bit about your work process.
My process usually starts with a thought, feeling, or concept that I want to convey. Then I’ll flip through magazines or books to find images that resonate with this idea… sometimes the whole image will come preformed in my mind. After that I get to my favourite part – assembling all the pieces! Occasionally I also like to incorporate other media like paint or marker into my artworks.
What inspires your collages?
I guess the human experience… I’m inspired by ideas I’m thinking or reading, my feelings or experiences, and sometimes issues in the media.
How would you describe your artwork?
I think of all my works as self-portraits using found images, but the thing I love about collage is that I think it also creates a universality or anonymity that other people can also relate and connect to. For me creating art is a way to process my experiences, reflect on life and create connections with others at that intuitive, emotive level.
Is gender something you explore in your art?
Gender is a massive part of my art! I think I really started to explore my own relationship with gender and being a young woman by creating collages. Plus, many of the images in my collages come from women’s fashion magazines, and I like that I get to give them a new feminist life in my artwork!
Who are a few other artists you admire? Why?
I love the work of Beth Hoeckel and Minna Gilligan, as well as indigenous Australian artists including Sally Gabori and Gordon Bennett. I’ve also been in love with the portraits of Modigliani and Picasso for a long time now. I think what captures me about all of these artists is how they communicate so much feeling and experience, and which I can never quite put into words. Art is so special like that.
How would your friends describe you?
Opinionated, thoughtful, compassionate, fun, witty, as well as a terrible decision maker, a little moody and way too organised!
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?
A friend once told me to make a list of all the things that make me happy, like op-shopping, going to a gallery or just a cup of coffee. It’s such a useful thing to have on days when I’m feeling a bit off or sad, because I can just pick some things to do from the list to brighten my mood.
What’s one item on your bucket list?
Travel to India! I’m hoping to go later this year!