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AP1: Collage workshop @ Artefact Gallery

On the 26th Feb I attended a collage workshop lead by Adam Wynn and members of Birmingham Collage Collective.

At that point I had begun building up my own archive of images and documents - found or scavenged - old ripped up photographs, polaroid's, retro comics/magazines, old paper packaging, retro stickers - a whole collection of paper based materials that appeared fragmentary and connected to some kind of nostalgia

Main points from the workshops

  • I needed more imagery - struggled creating compositions due to a lack of materials

  • It is useful to collate similar types of images together - help make sense of materials

  • Useful to place elements on paper and test different compositions before committing to gluing - taking photos as reference to see in new way

  • use different processes - fine detailed cutting with scalpel - more organic cuts with scissors - fluid and uncontrollable tears - help build different textures

  • consider the composition like a painting or drawing - considering colour scheme

  • Places to find more imagery - charity shops - old books/magazines, car boot sales etc

During the workshop I was able to play with materials - not being constrained by trying to formulate a narrative or context but solely by creating compositions with an interest in fragmented everyday - attempting to evoke a sense of nostalgia for these objects.

I enjoyed the torn texture of the pieces. After the workshop I gathered more imagery from old comics and magazines from charity finds and worked on them in the print workshop. I actually found the process quite challenging as I was fairly new to collaging. It was quite difficult to pair the right images together and to know how much or how little to include. After testing multiple compositions I began to develop a more consistent style by gathering sets of materials, combining complimentary colour schemes and finding that tearing smaller sections of paper helped create a more well a balanced composition.

I chose to give myself the constraint of an A4 piece of paper as I felt it was helpful to set my own boundary while creating. I also choose to use Canaletto paper as it was a heavier weight paper which gave more strength and contrast to the thinner papers and newsprint I was collaging with. Also the off white colour scheme also appeared less harsh against the older yellowed paper, allowing it to fit in with the aged aesthetic of the pieces.

This helped control the compositions and streamlined the sizes of images to use, making each design portrait oriented. I was especially interested by including sections of text, namely large print logos as it presented the timely quality and retro nature of the typeface - especially from items such as old boots print out packages or game boy game user manuals.

I have found that these collages act almost as a complimentary component to my larger sculptural body of work - they relate to similar ideas of archiving everyday and cast away objects whilst also exploring the fragmentary forms present in my sculpture. This was a very useful activity in playing with materials, learning new forms of working/making and developing skills in colour and composition which I can bring into my other work.


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