Tate Britain Conference

Cutting Edge: Collage in Britain 1945 to Now

Rescheduled dates will be announced when confirmed

photograph of sketchbook showing collaged images across two pages

Nigel Henderson untitled scrapbook c. 1952 © Nigel Henderson Estate. Courtesy of the Nigel Henderson Estate.

Join us for this two-day conference exploring the art of collage, from the post-war period to the present

Since the Second World War, collage has provided artists working in Britain with a complex and critical mode of creative practice.

From the fractured aesthetics of brutalism and the borrowed motifs of Pop to the countercultural graphics of punk, the subversive ephemera of feminist collectives, and the layered poetics of self-exile and transnational identity, collage has offered a vital means to repurpose the visual and textual materials of a common culture.

At key moments of socio-political struggle, collage has been mobilised to suggest alternative viewpoints, to dismantle dominant narratives, and to offer searing and satirical forms of critique.

Cutting Edge: Collage in Britain, 1945 to Now locates collage at the vanguard of artistic production. It poses new questions about the materialities and technologies of collage, as well as the methodologies and historiographies through which we encounter it today.

An international array of speakers present fresh perspectives on collage as process and as object, and on its contribution to modern and contemporary visual art in Britain and beyond.



16.00–16.15 Introductory remarks by Mark Hallett and Rosie Ram

16.15–17.15 Panel 1, chaired by Barry Curtis
  • Ben Cranfield: Fragmenting Practices of the Contemporary: The Queer Timeliness of the Collage and the Curatorial
  • Craig Buckley: An Architecture of Clipping: Reyner Banham and the Definition of Collage

17.15–18.15 Keynote by Claire Zimmerman, chaired by Victoria Walsh


10.00–10.10 Introductory remarks

10.10–11.30 Keynote by David Alan Mellor and Thomas Crow, chaired by Elena Crippa

  • Ev’ry Which Way: Kensington Phantasmagorias and Californian Dreamings

11.30–12.00 Coffee break

12.00–13.00 Panel 2, chaired by Andrew Wilson
  • Nicola Simpson: Not this and not that. Cutting a(way) to a Tantric Buddhist Collage in the work of Dom Sylvester Houédard
  • Andrew Hodgson: Xeroxing Surrealism: TRANSFORMAcTION and Collage as Aesthetic Continuity

13.00–14.00 Lunch break

14.00–15.00 Panel 3, chaired by Jo Applin
  • Amy Tobin: ‘I Can’t Swim I Have Nightmares’: Linder and Photomontage 1976–2019
  • Alice Correia: Chila Kumari Burman: Punk Punjabi Protest

15.00–15.30 Tea break

15.30–16.30 Panel 4, chaired by Hammad Nasar
  • Amna Malik: Collage as a Poetics of (Self) Exile? Gavin Jantjes’s A South African Colouring Book (1974-5) and the Black British Arts Movement
  • Allison Thompson: Come Together: Collage Aesthetics in the Work of Sonia Boyce

16.30–16.45 Closing remarks by Elena Crippa


Mark Hallett, Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art
Rosie Ram, Royal College of Art
Ben Cranfield, Royal College of Art
Craig Buckley, Yale University
Barry Curtis, University of the Arts London
Claire Zimmerman, University of Michigan
Victoria Walsh, Royal College of Art
David Alan Mellor, Independent Scholar
Thomas Crow, NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts
Elena Cripp, Tate Britain
Nicola Simpson, Norwich University of the Arts
Andrew Hodgson, Université Paris Est.
Andrew Wilson, Tate Britain
Amy Tobin, Kettle’s Yard, University of Cambridge
Alice Correia, University of Salford
Jo Applin, The Courtauld Institute of Art
Amna Malik, Independent Scholar
Allison Thompson, Barbados Community College
Hammad Nasar, Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art

This two-day conference is organised in conjunction with the Tate Britain Spotlight display Vital Fragments: Nigel Henderson and the Art of Collage, curated by Mark Hallett and Rosie Ram with Zuzana Flaskova. The display is open until 5 April 2020.

Cutting Edge: Collage in Britain, 1945 to Now is supported by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art.

Tate Britain

The Clore Auditorium

London SW1P 4RG
Plan your visit


27 March 2020 at 16.00–18.30

28 March 2020 at 10.00–17.00

This event is postponed due to the disruption caused by coronavirus. We know this will be disappointing and we’re deeply sorry for the inconvenience caused. Ticket holders will be contacted directly about refunds and will be informed about new dates when they have been confirmed

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