My collages are self-therapeutic. Whenever I feel an aching or a longing, I tear pictures out of magazines, add odds and ends collected on walks, and overprint with a Gelliplate. Then I take a handful of words cut from newspaper headlines, spread them out on the table and pick out a phrase that sums up my dilemma. Headlines are meant to grab our attention, so why not use Headlinese (the abbreviated writing style used in newspaper headlines) to entice us into our inner world? The American Art Therapy Association defines candidates for art therapy as “people who experience illness, trauma or challenges in living”. Doesn’t that include us all?
Ava Carmel was born in Toronto, Canada. She now lives in Israel, where she writes and translates. About 30 years ago, she spontaneously began creating collages, while trying to deal with a trauma from adolescence. Tearing pictures out of magazines and pasting them on a blank page, she realized that she had found her medium. After several years of mute collages, she discovered that words from newspaper headlines added a new dimension. Ava refers to her technique as “discovering my SELF in print”. Severe Silence, her first book, is a collection of collages, poems, and journal entries depicting her journey from “subduWed” wife to outspoken, independent woman.
Ava’s collages have been exhibited in Israel and Germany. She also conducts collage workshops.