Working with collage has been one of my favourite ways of exploring and planning new work for a very long time. This is how I start, below, by basically getting out far too many papers and mixed materials. Generally I then begin to put groups of related materials together, and that will either spark ideas, or furnish ideas I already have.
I usually make the collages as preparation for work in other media, namely textiles, artist’s books and needlepoint, but lately some pieces have branched out and declared independence.
I began this piece, above, with the intention of making just one collage based upon spring. I then decided to use the text in another piece, and also liberally took the scissors to the coloured papers; this caused it to develop into five pieces, echoing, I like to think, the generosity and vitality of the season. Many enjoyable hours were spent in digital experiment using some of my images taken in museums and gardens, and in printing out more papers, even though I had planned to use what I already had. This plan nearly always fails.
The finished pieces are all A3 size, and although I planned to print them digitally onto fabric, I like the flat crisp appearance of the paper pieces, so I reckon these are the finished pieces now. It’s possible I may add some long metallic thread stitches, through some pre-made holes; there is a nice little Japanese tool available for this, and I am tempted to buy one.
I placed 3d objects on the collages too, which would work interestingly should the pieces ever become digitally printed textile works. If they were printed onto fabric I feel they would work best if they were quite large, perhaps about 2 m wide. It’s a thought.
Onto some collages now that I think would work as textile pieces at exactly the size they are, which is about 65 x 55 cm. I like them as paper pieces too though, and like the collages above I placed some 3d objects on the first piece.
They definitely need more fine detail, for which stitch would be ideal. The collage below isn’t yet stuck down, and has no 3d additions as yet. This was entirely inspired by the acrylic painted and printed papers.
I’m using the scraps in an accordion Moleskine pad, as you can see at the top of the image.
I’m very fond of this one, above, basically because I love a black background, and it’s based on fossils. It’s a little bigger than A3, and I think could be a versatile chap, in that I would quite like to see it digitally printed, with machine and hand stitch stitch added. It would make an interesting needlepoint too.
These two collages above are now stuck down, and as they are on Khadi paper I am going to machine stitch them, photograph them with some added 3d pieces such as wood and shells, then print them onto fabric and see what happens next. It’s a convoluted project that I’m letting unfold; I possibly have some sort of constructed screen in mind.
Thanks for getting this far, nearly there now. I have been mentioning my book over the past couple of years on this blog, and it’s now available, published by Search Press, and Amazon are willing to sell you a copy should you fancy it.
Back to work on those collages, I’m running out of glue.