Monday, 27 May 2013

These collages were made in the summer of 2011.  I wanted some newer collages to scan and print as part of the project.  These are again handmade and book-page size and made from the same kinds of materials as earlier collages.  I still have a lot of materials that I’ve been collecting and saving for years and at this point was assuming I’d continue to make the handmade collages alongside learning to make them digitally. 

While I once made a collage a day, I am now tending to work in spurts – producing a few that I like before hitting a wall.  It’s easy to be repetitive or fall into too predictable patterns.  Also easy to cling to the types of things you’ve been using.  I’m aware now of my ‘affectations’ for certain kinds of materials.  I’m still using old or stained papers and newsprint, historical imagery, print culture stuff from travelling etc.  I found some brown packing tape with lettering that I liked and used that in many of the new ones.

A bricoleur works with what they have on hand but my collection of on-hand stuff has all been selected and collected by me over the years.  Certain kinds of printed materials such as glossy photographic images by professional photographers have been avoided.  I still like photographic images to be on soft paper and printed using half-tones etc.  I use photographic images from sources such as old Pravda or other newspapers printed in coarse half-tones and like them more for their texture and mundane nature than their aesthetic content. 

I’m a history buff and read a lot of histories.  The collages don’t reflect the materials that I read but do have the affectations of historical themes and images.  I think of collage as always addressing ideas about memory in a way but history and memory have a loose connection at best.  How accurate or encompassing is either?

I tried, in these collages, to introduce more of my own indirect history by including things that were saved from travelling.

I’ve started asking any visitors to my studio whether they find the collages too nostalgic looking or worn out aesthetically, too habitual, too pointless and uninteresting.  I’ve been trying to add other kinds of content and break up patterns and ask people which collages and which kind of collages they like best.  Everyone answers differently. 

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