Collage Cure

By Joyce

I hadn’t made collage art in many moons, but when I saw a stack of LIFE Nature Library encyclopedias and a star chart on my neighbor’s curb, I snatched them up for the quiet weekend ahead.  Sorting through images and delving into non-verbalized waters was just the kind of immersion I needed.

On Sunday morning, I found myself surrounded with books and magazines, flipping through pages, reading here and there, and searching for images; I was casual, comfortable with the mess, until I would see something and then out came the scissors.  The open-ended process would suddenly turn into a narrowed down chase. Cutting pictures out, sometimes requiring the X-Acto knife for precision, became my sole pursuit.

I continued to roam randomly through my materials; savagely tearing whole pages out of books and with four snips of the scissors out came graphic images of words too. My hands were busy, and my piles of pictures grew, but nothing was coming together, not in my mind, or on the page.    I threw my Man and Space encyclopedia down.  Useless! Outdated!  A half hour before, collage making felt so purposeful, so easy and relaxed, but with nothing showing for my efforts, doubts started arising. Was I creating meaning or just wasting my time?

Then it happened. The self-doubt gave me access to stronger feelings. With some force, I tore the star chart off its cardboard background; a layer that I had felt inexplicably bound to.  After having thrown off that constraint, my collage quickly came together:  A muscular old lady in a standing pose, carrying a candle on a backdrop of a seasonal star chart.  It clearly expressed my recent reflections on my own aging, and the necessity to keep working my body through all the seasons of my life, and at the same time, carry my own flame, my spark, to keep me moving.

Making art is always revealing.  And unpredicatable.  It is a reliable remedy, bringing to the surface what we are ready to see.

Read more here: DailySelfCure