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Image & Collage

October 17, 2009

As this handy diagram demonstrates, THOUGHTS, IMAGES, WORDS, and TEXT are all inter-linked. Sounds obvious, though I can’t claim it’s something I’ve ever sat down and thought about. We looked a little deeper into the idea using several examples of collage, and by making some of our own.
In addition to the examples of noted collage artists provided by Darren – Alexandr Rodchenko, John Heartfield, Hannah Hoch, Alan Fletcher, Alex Williamson, Sara Fanelli, Martin O’Neil, I’ve chosen an examples by 10 other contemporary collage artists, one for each of the following themes. While found tonnes of work I liked, it was very very difficult to decide which category to put the examples in. I’m not even sure that my final choices were correct, but it certainly got me thinking. Click on the name for a link to the work.

Collage Themes:

COMPOSITION // James Dawe
EDITING // Hubert Blanz
CONTRAST // Valero Doval (Ghosts)
RHYTHM // Are Mokkelbost
TEXTURE // Hilary Pecis
REPURPOSING // Valero Doval (Aerofauna)
JUXTAPOSITION // Mary Virginia Carmack
SURREALISM // Andreas Banderas
NARRATIVE // Devin Troy Strother
HUMOUR // Anthony Zinonos
And those I couldn’t fit into the list, but worth a mention – Ian Monroe, Mario Wagner, Seth Curcio, Bill Zindel, and Christiana Couceiro.

Okay, now the work we made during last week’s session. Here are three rather creaky 10-minute collages that I created, each one in response to a particular theme:


EDITING: The removal of the central figure from the image, in this case also the focus of the focus of the other figures, creates an ambiguity: are they helping or restraining the figure?


EDITING again (left): here the removal of a background of limousine interior and foreground details of champagne glasses, combined with the repositioning of the of the two figures nose-to-nose, explores the ambiguity of the celebratory/violent nature of the image.
SURREALISM (right): With conscience and temptation on each shoulder, here’s Top-ranking UK Scrabble enthusiast
David Webb. David’s top tip – “Qinghaosu”, an “anti-malarial medicine made from the mugwort”, apparently.


Finally, here’s my series of collages produced in response to a brief of “as many as you can in 20 minutes”. To speed things up I chose to create an A-Z series, with each single letter taken from the large headlines of an issue of the Telegraph, and the corresponding words from the sub-headlines of the same paper. With content and layout repeated across each collage, the process became automatic, with my own decision-making limited to the first few few minutes of the task. Even the words chosen to represent each letter were largely chosen according to their availability. The result: 20 complete collages, or 1 per minute. Almost a full alphabet!
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