It is difficult to accurately trace how the idea of creating an A-Z of collages came about. It is probably at least partly in response to the eclectic nature of Homerton archive itself, which ranges from significant artworks, through millions of personal photographs to the most mundane objects and historically unique memorabilia to name but some. I was undoubtedly inspired by some of the images I had gathered through the research period as they were photographed in often random and at times quite rushed ways as I recorded thousands of items in case they will prove helpful. I have also created series of collages before (see these pages on my website to find out more).
In western cultures Collage as an art medium dates back to the early twentieth century but has clearly existed and flourished in numerous others much before. According to the Tate website 'the term collage derives from the French term papiers collés (or découpage), used to describe techniques of pasting paper cut-outs onto various surfaces' and according to artist John Stezaker*
'Collage allows the opening up of conscious, which is very direct…its also a way of looking at what you are consuming all the time'. I think it certainly relates directly to the ways we consume news these days and for me collages are an ideal medium as I navigate my way through the Tightrope Walking project towards the final artwork- An A-Z of an Uncertain Future.
And so alongside creating the 26 collages that will become An A-Z of an Uncertain Future, a workshop for Homerton College students, alumni and staff has been held on a sunny midsummer afternoon with some pretty impressive results- see above and below for a sample of the artworks produced. The workshop was a timely reminder for me of the rich and often surprising ways in which collage can playfully combine and critically juxtapose widely divergent times, styles and ideas and will provide inspiration for the work ahead...