Artists You Need to Know: Keinwyn Shuttleworth: Dystopian Paper Ballads – Collage Artist – South Africa

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I am 24-year-old self-taught analog collage artist, breathing and creating in the South African city of Durban. My art represents an inner dystopia made tangible through my own creativity. With glue, paper, scissors and scalpel, I recreate the images and occurrences that haunt my dreams. I call this process ‘Picture Poetry.’

Angel Ocularmortem
Angel Ocularmortem

Find Keinwyn on Social Media here:

Facebook Art Page – www.facebook.com/dystopianpaperballads/
Instagram Art Page – www.instagram.com/dystopianpaperballads/

What is your favorite novel and what does it say about your mind?

Because I am a voracious reader and cherish so many celestial volumes, it is almost impossible for me to choose a single favorite novel. However, the first one that comes to mind is Charles Baudelaire’s ‘Les Fleurs du Mal’. As for what ‘The Flowers of Evil’ may say about my own mind, I suppose it points to a mind that is immersed in old school Romanticism. A mind that hums to funereal rhythms and finds great beauty in tragedy, somber shades and the nakedness of the grave. My art itself is extremely influenced by the poetry of Baudelaire.

Anatomia Basilica
Anatomia Basilica

Do you have a plaguing secret that you would like to air out to the world?

I do have a plaguing secret, and it is merely this – I scrawl my plaguing secrets onto the flyleaves of library books in pencil strokes, and have done so for years. Hundreds of books circulate around the cities I have visited; all of them containing the passionate and feverish secrets of my past. I suppose this makes me both a trusted secret keeper and a shameful blabbermouth, all at the same time.

korvus kryptos
korvus kryptos

What is your passion?

I entertain various passions in life, but the greatest of these is quite simply my passion for art. Nothing else inspires and enthralls me more than the simple process of creation, which to me is both mysteriously automatic and exceptionally emotional.

Three songs on your funeral playlist?

Bela Lugosi’s Dead – Bauhaus
Asleep – The Smiths
Into My Arms – Nick Cave

Monsieur Mortemus
Monsieur Mortemus

Do you have a dream you will always remember?

My ‘Lady Vera Valkyrie’ collage represents a recurring dream of mine that has haunted me for many years. In this dream, I am being chased by a ravenous murder of crows who are intent on devouring me piece by piece. At some point during the dream, I realize that it is merely, simply a dream – something that wakefulness will dissolve. Suddenly I look up and see the beauty of the birds, how majestic their air dance is, and the sonorousness of their squawking songs. The anatomical armor that shields Lady Vera is meant to represent how the fact that we are alive can shield us from even the most horrific subconscious demons. Just as birds represent transformation, so do the horrors we face in waking life, as these are the things we must overcome to reach inner harmony and growth as human beings.

My Lady Vera Valkyrie
My Lady Vera Valkyrie

Do you believe in soul mates? What does this mean to you?

I believe that golden tentacles of the past, the present, and the future are entwined within our DNA. The hue of our unique gold leaf match the hue of another individual’s, and the electromagnetism of this purely invisible correlation has the power to attract our other half. When it does, we immediately sense something within this individual that is identical to the substance of our own soul. This is my concept of soul mates.

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