DR.ME is Ryan Doyle (DR) and Mark Edwards (ME) a duo working in Manchester, England. Operating in the space between art and design, the studio works predominantly by hand with mixed media for both personal and commercial projects.
The self initiated project ‘365 Days of Collage’ saw them create a collage a day for a year, from this the studio gained a reputation for working within the medium of collage which led them to publish a book (Cut That Out) on the topic with Thames & Hudson (Europe) and Monacelli Press (USA).
Their collages can be seen in recent projects for the Tate and Universal or in their self released monthly publication FIN? made up of forgotten, discarded or rejected works as well as exhibitions in London, Viborg, Milan, Dublin, Berlin and New York.
AVAILABLE ARTWORKS BY DR.ME
AN INTERVIEW WITH THE (CURIOUS) CURVE
Who is DR.ME? How and when did you guys meet?
DR.ME is Ryan Doyle (DR) and Mark Edwards (ME), we met at university and in a moment of alphabetical serendipity were paired together on the first day to work on a brief together. From there we became friends and then further down the line we decided to start working together as DR.ME and started pushing collaboration into our uni projects. Once we graduated we both went to Brooklyn to intern for Mike Perry which taught us a great deal of how to run an independent studio with a focus on creating artwork and design.
What are the advantages of working as a duo? Is there a good-cop/bad-cop dynamic from time to time?
DR: Advantages are you can spread the load and produce double the amount of work from a different perspective. Sometimes one of us creates something or finds a solution that the other couldn’t see, so it constantly pushes you to make your best work. There is kind of an unsaid healthy competition that I feel is good for us as artists. I don’t think I could have done what we have done on my own and wouldn’t have wanted to. Theres definitely been moments of disagreement but in the end usually one of us sees the right path and we don’t hold grudges. Do we Eddy?
ME: It is important that we are quite different in our working style, taste-wise we very much see eye to eye on most things but the way we go about creating something is very different. If we both had the same skills and ways of making things I think it wouldn’t work as well really. There always seems to be a moment in a project when one of us will get stuck on something and the other will see the answer very clearly and be able to support the other in pushing through the issue.
What are the different media you work with? What made you focus on the technique of collage?
DR: We have always worked with mixed media be that, paint, pen, photography or collage. I personally see collage not just as using found imagery in the traditional cut and paste style but more the coming together of 2 or 3 elements which is why I like to explore how combining traditional painting techniques for example with found imagery could also be considered a collage. I do like and make the traditional style of collage but exploring different approaches keeps it interesting for me. I think as a studio we began to focus on the technique on one of our very first projects, we were creating a record cover design but felt what we had was quite flat/not interesting. The image was a geometric pattern using flat colours, so we decided to switch out the colours with renaissance imagery and it took on a completely different life and I think we both felt a little eureka moment.
ME: Collage has always been the heartbeat of the studio, it has a very supernatural feel to it which I think is something that we’ve both always been drawn to. We also quite like trying to push it as medium to see what else we can do with it. Because DR.ME is a creative studio we do also work in other media like illustration, typography and so on but there’s always a large amount of joy found in collage.
Where did your fascination for „cut and paste“ derive from?
DR: I think the spotinuity and the felling of discovery is what excites me most about it. The moment when you find 3 elements that just work together to create what you imagined in your head but better. You can set out with a clear idea of what you want to achieve but the process of collage means you always ends up with a different result and most of the time a better result. It feels like when I was a kid and collected football stickers or Pokemon cards you want to find the rarest one (image) to use that no one has seen before and combine it in a fresh approach and still deliver your message… I like this aspect of it.
ME: There’s something incredibly honest to the aesthetic feel of being able to see a real cut in the paper and I think that’s where we both found our initial fascination, it can almost have the feel of a very subtle sculpture at times with a slight wrinkle in the paper or a different depth of card.
What do you think is the significance or status of collage in contemporary art?
DR: I think it has definitely grown in status over the last 10 years. I feel before it wasn’t as highly regarded as painting, sculpture, photography etc. but now I think it’s hugely significant. As google images grows bigger by the day, charity shops fill up more and more with discarded books, people literally view around 2617 images per day via smart phones so it is only natural that the use of found imagery has become more prevalent as access to imagery is easier than it has ever been and copyright rules are very difficult to understand allowing artists to reappropriate and recreate as they want.
ME: Compared to other forms of art, collage still feels very young and exciting, it has an illicit feel at times and at others quite unimaginable, you can make your dreams come to life through collage!
If you could grab a beer with five people each (dead or alive) in your favourite pub in Manchester, who would you invite?
DR: Bob Marley, Jackie Leven, Lauryn Hill, Robert Malaval, Lil Peep
ME: Bridget Riley, Linder Sterling, Johan Cruyff, Sol LeWitt, John Baldessari
What are you up to when you’re not in your studio working (in your free time)?
DR: Most of my spare time is hanging with my wife or “managing" my friends band Menage A Trois. We collaborate on all aspects of the artwork but this is purely a passion project for me, they are my best friends and all artists in their own right so its just fun working together, jamming together and travelling around playing shows together. But also a lot of work for DR.ME isn’t work so a lot of my spare time outside of “9-5” but also sometimes during I am making work for exhibitions, painting, working on FIN?, the studio digital outlet zine and making websites. Everything just feeds into everything else.
ME: I mainly hanging out with friends. We have a large group of friends who run all kinds of independent things from putting on exhibitions and gigs through to running breweries and books shops so there’s always something going on to go along to.