When people ask me how I make a collage I feel as if I can’t quite answer the question. I was even told that by speaking of ‘luck’ I was making the process appear ‘easier’, as if I meant anyone could do it and that therefore there wasn’t much skill to my methods.
Maybe I ought to use the word ‘intuition’ to describe the process instead. Ultimately I create collages by browsing old National Geographic magazines until I find images that appeal to me – dramatic scenes or beautiful landscapes or a person with a fascinating expression. Once removed from its context, the image is placed on my desk where it will sit for some time before the rest of the piece comes together.
This is where luck, or chance, comes in. Through this collection of images, fragments of text from old poetry books, and dried acrylic paint, the pieces almost fall together, sometimes literally. This could be as simple as placing the elements on the studio table, or it could involve a longer process of attempting to pair sections together, realising they don’t work, trying something else, and repeating [Fig. 1]. It’s almost like putting a puzzle together, but the shapes aren’t clear and there’s no pre-existing reference image. The process is potentially limitless – when should I stop adding or cutting or painting? Only I know.
Find Catherine here: www.catherinejack.com