Since the 1990s Ian has been making paper cut-out collages, and though only a handful have ever been exhibited, he continues to collect material and create new pieces. A number of them are based on specific themes, and reflect his interests in post war design and technology. More recently he has been experimenting with expanded collage dioramas, including the Spy Box.
The multi-media Spy Box from July 2019, explores a cold war espionage theme, and consists of three paper cut-out collages, lights, objects and specially composed electronic music.
The Hellivision Cine Box constructed in March 2022, features a movie themed collage; a built-in TV monitor; and a switch to activate the simulated sound and light of a film projector, with a flickering LED embedded within the collage. A short found footage film with electronic music, Still Marilyn, was created especially to play on the screen.
On occasions Ian has received commissions to create paper cut-out collages, for which he searches out appropriate material. A 1970s crime and electronics theme resulted in this piece completed in June 2020.
Besides paper cut-outs, Ian creates audio and film collages from found materials. Using radio he combines snippets of noise and speech with his electronic sounds, as in this excerpt of Inside Broadcast. He also collects 8mm cine and cuts up bits of home movie footage to make new relationships between disparate sequences of film, as in the shorts, Jump Skip, Carrier Waves, Hovercraft Advance and That Which Glitters
Ian composed an electronic music piece, Hellitronic Stylophonic for the 50th anniversary of the Stylophone competition, and went on to create a mixed media collage on the same theme.
The making of a cine film themed paper cut-out collage can be seen here, with the initial layout of images as they start to take shape and get to the point of sticking down.