Collage can be so many things. With the current popularity of the genre, the accessibility of images, the tools people have, it’s making me wonder just what collage is. For my work I can ask myself, “Am I doing ‘collage’ just because I’m sticking cut up pieces of paper onto card?” There must be more to it than that. Sometimes it seems it can be defined that simply, yet there are many approaches, technical and otherwise. Everyone does their own thing.
My collage work is primarily about image making. I like things when they are big and bold, colourful and clear. I try to keep identifiable subjects to a minimum. I like patterns, colours, and shapes, odd bits. I make files.
Most of my work is a combination of predetermination and spontaneity. Although I may have intentions, a direction, and maybe even a sketch, finished works are seldom as I expected. My work is technical in many aspects; format, layout, proportion, scale, placement; design essentially. But while I am engaged in this activity, working out my technical priorities, I get swept away by surprise juxtapositions, subtleties of colour, shading, perspective, spontaneous decisions. This is when it becomes collage. To arrive at a final image has not only been a process of assembly but it has been a liberating expressive experience. I can’t help but think collage may be a temporary state of mind.
Regardless of the invisible state of mind I imagine as collage, the final composition is a jumble of snippets of coloured paper stuck to card. Collage.
I live in Kinburn, Ontario, a small village west of Ottawa, Canada.
I am a self-employed artist-contractor, fabricating and installing exhibit components for museums and galleries. In the past, I maintained a long standing position as Head of Exhibition Preparation with the Canadian Museum of History (neé Canadian Museum of Civilization). As an artist, my work includes; performance, installations, documents, sculpture, photography and collage.