New Book: Tissue Box: A pandemic response


Tissue Box: A pandemic response/Boite à mouchoir: Une réponse à la pandémie 

by Québec Collage, 2021

In Spring 2020, as the world was going into lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Quebec Collagiste Virginie Maltais felt a deep need for a point of reference. Her solution was a project that asked collage artists from around the world to make a collage using the top of a tissue box. Selections from the project are published in the book, Tissue Box: A pandemic response/Boite à mouchoir: Une réponse à la pandémie.

“The tissue box is always nearby when you have a cold or flu. COVID was compared to a flu at first. We now know that it is something else entirely. The tissue box is also there when you cry, whether because you lost your job, lost someone close to you, lost a project. There were many reasons to cry at that time for many of us!” wrote Maltais. “I also realized that the top of the tissue box could make a frame and that there were several ways to highlight this property through collage and that collagists could take advantage of it to remind us of our situation.”

“Small projects are important. When you start and manage to finish something, you regain your courage and hope. But, really, there is no such thing as a small project. Big projects are made of many small steps. Step by step, we move forward. Together. It was all of these small steps, together, that led to the creation of this book.”

Maltais worked with Kolaj Institute and Kasini House to produce a bilingual book about the project. 


Cheryl Kater, Alberta, Canada. Courtesy of the artist.


Virginie Maltais | Veronica Bartlett | Seema Shah | Sarah Hamel | Rosemary Rae | Robert Bruce Scott | Rita Yanny Madison | Richard Raymond | RF Côté | Ralph Dobbins | Raf Cruz | Patricia Doucet | Normand Brodeur | Nathalie Paquette | Nadia Nadege | Molly Krolczyk | Mimi Wasilewska | Méli Hoffman | Marie-Dominique Rouleau | Maria Clara Ramos Alves Borges | Margaret Jeddry | Lulu Ludlum | Louich De Cournoye | Lenka Kvasnickova | Kenzie Dickens | Julie Clouatre | Julie Clark | Josianne Cyr | Jessica Ricard | Jerome Bertrand | Jean-Marie Moncelet | Janelle De Bellefeuille | Jacques Ammann | Jacqueline Achermann | Ilona Belle | Ida Csapó CSI | Helen Hall | Guylaine Couture | Francois-Xavier Vigneault-Marcil | Érick Champagne | Émilie Léger | Elodie HB | Diane Tremblay | Deborah Saks | Danielle Des Ormeaux | Clive Knights | Cielo Ornelas MacFarlane | Cheryl Kater | Catherine Rondeau | Carol Priamo | Basilic Brubeck | Ani Müller | Alain Lapierre


Québec Collage promotes creativity, diversity, and art education. They do this by curating exhibitions, initiating local projects, connecting the local and international communities by translating open calls, and providing a safe space for people to discuss their passion for collage and their own practice. To get involved, Québec-based artists should contact Québec Collage to share their work or to promote upcoming collage exhibitions. Québec Collage posts one new artist a day on their website and is always looking for artists to feature in upcoming exhibitions. Once a year, Québec Collage hosts a project open to international communities. Québec Collage invites those communities to let them know about any open calls, will translate them (if necessary), and will help promote them to a wider audience. Learn more at


The mission of Kolaj Institute is to support artists, curators, and writers who seek to study, document, & disseminate ideas that deepen our understanding of collage as a medium, a genre, a community, and a 21st century movement. We operate a number of initiatives meant to bring together community, investigate critical issues, and raise collage’s standing in the art world. Learn more at