What kinds of stories can art tell? And can you be part of that process?
I believe most artists want their work to be interactive… emotionally, anyway.
My collages used to be about me. The art was mine. The stories were mine, too.
Now, with this new collage – the first in about a decade – I see myself assembling pieces of a story.
It’s not necessarily my story.
In fact, each viewer is the owner.
The story they see in my collages is theirs alone… unless they share it with others, of course.
The scan of this collage, above, is preliminary. The bottom edge of the torn paper (below her left boot) is actually just as ragged as the rest, but the scanner didn’t include it. (I’ll fix this, later.) Also, the gold trailing behind her is bright & shiny, but – in the scan – it’s dull. (I’ll make sure it shows when the collage is fully finished. At this point, it’s not actually mounted on a contrasting background.)
So… what is her story?
Here are elements and questions to consider, looking at this collage:
Is she walking – perhaps running – towards something, or away from it, or both? The right side of the collage support (white) is torn and untidy, while the right side was cut with a ruler. Does that mean anything in the context of her story?
“Dreams” and “true story” are separated. Are they still connected? Does her true story support her dreams, or has the truth fallen off and it’s now at odds with her dreams?
Likewise, “a voice”… is it fractured? Or is her inner voice leading the way, a little here and a little there, and how long will her journey be? (As I see it, both “a voice” and “How long” are sort of floating in front of her.)
Perhaps the building (a symbol of tradition, or authority?) supports her. Maybe it’s interrupting her progress, and she’ll soon leave it behind.
There’s a shark at her leading ankle. Has it already passed her, and does she care?
And the figure in the 60s-style fringed jacket, possibly pointing at the male figure in the shadowy background. Is that a warning? If so, is it to her or to the mostly hidden man?
But, of course, the big question is: Is she ready?
Click here to see all of my recent collages
If you’d like to create your own collages – visit my original mixed media art site, Aisling.net
(It’s been online since the mid-1990s. Back then, women were very much in the minority, online, so some of us chose to use pen names to protect our privacy.)