Collage

Collage has always been a technique/media that I am very interested in and have been playing with for quite a few years, but I have never really researched it. Before today I had never heard of bricolage or assemblage and also wasn’t too sure what the differences between montage and collage were. As was said today, collage is something that can’t be too controlled while you are doing it and should be left to chance. It is a media that should be played with, which is something that I really like the idea of. I enjoy techniques where you don’t know what the outcome is going to be and you can just experiment until you achieve something that you are happy with.

After today’s lecture I was a little bit confused about these new words that all sounded the same so I wanted to have a further look for myself. These are my basic findings in order to have a better understanding of the difference:
-Bricolage: ‘make do and mend’, cobbling together of a diverse range, working with whatever is available
-Montage: Items placed sequentially, one after the other; selecting, editing and piecing together to form a continuous whole; seems more controlled and planned compared to a collage
-Collage: various different materials attached to a backing; items presented all at once as part of a whole; usually 2D; layering of textures
-Assemblage: 3D wall hangings or sculptural walk around pieces, range of material thicknesses and textures, more constructed than a collage

We were asked to find some artists who relate to this subject and I immediately thought of the photo mosaics I had seen at Gatwick Airport this summer. After searching online,  I found on the BBC South East Website that they were to commemorate the queen’s Jubilee and are made up of thousands of photos of British people, and were made by British photographer and designer Helen Marshall.

helen marshall queen

I also came across Hannah Hoch, who was a montage Dada artist who put together images taken from fashion magazines and illustrated journals to create a humorous and moving commentary on society.

hannah hoch grotesque

This particular piece is called Grotesque and is focusing on the exploitation and attitudes towards women. After studying sociology at A Level, this is a subject which I have researched before and take a lot of interest in. I find it fascinating how women had the confidence and determination to fight back and refuse to conform to gender stereotypes, especially when they voiced their opinions through art. Anita Steckel was another feminist artist, known for the sexual imagery apparent in her photo montages in the 70’s.

anita steckelThe Subway, Anita Steckel 1973

Annegret Soltau was a German photo montage artist who also created feminist works. Her most famous pieces were images of her own body and face which had been sewn over with black thread to represent being silenced, restricted and inhibited.

soltau 2

In terms of a less politically inspired artist, Gwen Hedley is a textile collage artist who takes most of her inspiration from shorelines. She is someone who I was told to research at college about 3 years ago and was very interested in her range of attachments. I did then go on to making my own samples using staples and thick black stitches to attach different textured fabrics together. I am also inspired by the addition of decorative stitches that she occasionally adds on top of the collages.

gwen hedley hedley 2

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