Berlin-based artist Clare Börsch uses her collage style to envelope the viewer in a unique natural setting, taking them from an art studio to the middle of a rainforest or flower garden. She creates her 3D collages using a combination of natural images which are either photographed, hand-painted, or sourced from online archives of early naturalist illustrations. Once they’ve been carefully selected for each particular setting, these images are painstakingly hand-cut and then combined into a collage that immerses one in nature. Her work includes unique species of animals, flora, and fauna from virtually every corner of the world.
One aspect of her work that makes it so individualistic is not only the colorful landscapes she creates, but also that her work includes surprising combinations of animals and plant species. In an interview with My Modern Met, the artist states, “Having grown up all over the world, my life has been a collage of sorts… For me, it makes sense to collage a Brazilian butterfly next to a North American flower. In my mind, they are intrinsically connected.”
Another major theme in Börsch’s work is environmental conservation, culminating in her most recent artistic installation titled Biodiversity. In regard to how this theme began to emerge in her artwork, Börsch stated, “This came into focus for me when I made a series of collages and then later realized that many of the species in the vintage illustrations had already gone extinct. Humanity has wiped out 68% of all our planet’s biodiversity since 1970, so working with vintage illustrations can be very heartbreaking as much of the diversity in these gorgeous old naturalist prints has been wiped out by human activity.”
Börsch’s combination of artistic prowess, natural inspiration, and environmental advocacy makes her collage art both prevalent and rare as the many species of animals and plants she features.