Sunday, October 5, 2014

Tools for Self Discovery: the Edward Scissor Hands of COLLAGE

The last week has been one of deep contemplation; of the proverbial fork in the road (ANOTHER ONE!  What is this year!?), authentic truths, rediscovering my life's purpose, and what it is that makes me come alive from within.  (note: see happenings from last blog post:

If you are in a similar situation, you may want to check out:

I glanced up at the collage that sits above my desk (this thing goes with me wherever I move).  It may or may not have one of my past suicide attempt plans beneath all the layers (no worries, not from recently, but before I began my art practice), which has been scraped back and over it signed my name in iridescent white, which is completely obscure due to the other layers, but its there none the less.  You won't be able to see the tiny text from these pictures but they are there and the collage wraps around the sides and onto the back (on birch wood board).    
Put simply; it's me.  
The rest is a bulletin board against a wall, with a bunch of things that I have connected and collected over the years.  

I suggest doing something similar if you feel stuck, or lost unable to find your universal truths: especially great for adolescents, or young adults.  There is something about ripping apart magazine images and messages (conceptually it is an interesting act of destroying the marketing and stereotyping, the ideal that media and society puts forth, and are forced to consume, faced daily) and making them your own, creating encouraging positive self, life affirming ones.  

-gather left over, old, read magazines, put them in a huge pile.
-get scissors or xacto knife.
-I blast music through my headphones.
-start flipping through the magazines without a care or thought in the world, and whatever word or phrase pops out at you; cut out (or in my case, depending I tare/rip out).  You gotta get messy with it, akin to free association writing, this is free association paper shredding whist exploring and discovering, then collaging the hell out of it.  
-might want to have a big garbage bag next to you, as no matter what it will get messy.
-put all the cut out words/images on the side.
-keep going through those magazines until, well, you will know when.
-look through the ones you cut out and just decide which ones identify most closely with your state of being.  
-I make a few different piles to organise and see more clearly.
-take whatever surface you've chosen, and do what feels right inside; cut the pieces neatly, keep the uneven edges, chop off the heads of models (anything goes!), create acrylic transfers (if you're into that), and/or whatever suits your fancy!
-stick onto said surface.  And don't think about the right or wrong position; you just 'do', start sticking!  
-you begin to see words that relate, connect to each other, make meaning, create some structure, and pattern.  The cut out images start slotting into place easier, and it begins to become a bit more cohesive.
-I don't care if it looks like shit, its supposed to; we are multi faceted individuals, and our emotions, psychological and physical states are messy, complex, hard to decipher.  

Take a step back and look at it, just observe, and acknowledge it.  No need to accept, refute, dissect, argue, reason, make sense, or criticise; just look at it, and put it aside.  I've thrown many out right after I finished in the past, only to fish out later on in the day to revisit, etc.

Let me know if you ever try it out and how it went for you:)

Umm, got sidetracked, shall write about my discoveries with the fork in the road, and my insights next...


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