Saturday, 28 September 2013

Using Collage

I found that collage has become rather addictive.  It is something I have always regarded as a craft rather than an art form, but the variations and possibilities are endless both in terms of the material used the inclusion of other media, and the style one adopts.  The latter might include representational work, abstract, geometric, textural, colour compositions and so on.  I feel I want to try something else, then another idea, colour or theme pops into my head, hence the addiction.

In the examples that follow, despite collecting and saving massess of newspapers, junk mail, catalogues, and looking in the drawers for paperclips etc., I have used other materials, as well us cut up paintings that I no longer like.

The first example uses the shape of feet.  I have always been interested in how two feet can almost interlock sideways on and echo the shape of the other foot so that was my starting point.  I had also taken photographs of paving slabs in Cambridge with a view to doing abstracts using the cracks and colour in a Tàpies way with perhaps artex or plaster.  However, I decided to print a couple out and used that as the background for my feet.  I then thought of pavements paved with gold so that became the third element in my composition.  Having recently invested in Acrylic spray I am now on a run, using it.

The other joy of collage is that you get the chance to layout your composition and adjust the balance physically without recourse to sketches, so it is my sort of medium!


Having recently seen the work of an artist named Peter Schoolwerth, I was interested in the idea of dissecting a picture I had done in pastel together with another painting I had cut up.  I need to look in more detail at Schoolwerth's work to bring the idea to fruition, but this was a first attempt. His work is not collage, he uses paint and oil pastel (I think), using a plain background - more use for my spray paint!  I don't think this collage worked but maybe has the seeds of an idea.

I adopted a more abstract/geometric style with this collage.  Using various items from my desk draw and spray painted on to the background then affixing more cut up paintings in an arrangement that I felt balanced quite well.  The question of balance with collage is, as I mentioned earlier, something that can be explored physically before sticking elements to the work.  This is almost like a kaleidoscope as things can be moved this way and that until a solution is found.

I liked the idea in this collage of using metal floating on a sea of bubbles, whereas the less solid items, the foam lagging appears to coalesce or group together as if they are solid.  Sticking metal to card is quite difficult and I can't see that it will be a permanent solution. The picture might work better in 'portrait' which would give the 'floating' paper clips more credulity as floating objects, and the foam weighted to a floor. I suppose this last collage might be the only one construed as using ordinary everyday things, but I really wanted to tackle the exercise without constraint.


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