25 of us met on a warm spring day to make collages playing with likes and dislikes. It was our first session at Sweet Arts, so a lovely day for an introduction. We all gathered in the Art Room before dividing into three groups so that there was more room to work on the tables. 2 groups stayed in the Art Room …
…and one moved into the Coffee Room.
After a break and then more making, we moved back into the Art Room and showed each other the collages.
Some people had been to the Sainsbury Centre for our last session, and some had been back since to pursue their choices of objects they liked or disliked. People joining us for the first time made art which picked up on the same ideas. Nell brought A4 photos of the chosen objects and people also used their sketchbooks as reference.
Why do we like what we like? Why dislike it? Can you transform one into the other?
If you love everything about a piece, you don’t want to mess with it.
But you can change the constricted Little Dancer, liberate her, so that she is free, with her arms uplifted.
You could take a sharp, attacking object….
And disempower it by making it pink, into a cupid’s arrow. Or the other way round, take something you like – in this case John Davies’ Little Prince – and alter its symmetry, take away the eyes and replace them with cold circles, to explore its ambivalence.
Saura’s Hiroshima Mon Amour (terrible photo but it’s only a Sainsbury Centre thumbnail) was a ‘like’,
and that was explored in a collage of lines and layers extracting the essence of it’s personal appeal.
The Auerbach portrait of Gerda Boehm fascinated people when we visited the Sainsbury Centre. It was transformed by the A4 photo, because the 3D paint surface is flattened so that the image of Gerda Boehm comes through in a totally different way.
She looks happier, more loved by the painter, more of a person. Or does she just look more like Margaret Thatcher? She became a face made of many faces.
These two became almost good versus bad.
Nature versus destruction. And this was a reminder of the things you might like and dislike about yourself, based on the Khmer Torso and the Auerbach head.
The Khmer Torso has got back her legs and arms, and the Auerbach adds ideas about texture and colour, with a nicer looking face.
You could separate out likes and dislikes and make two collages. Dislikes, being armless, legless, in a bad place, unable to vocalise or do much, although with blue, a favourite colour, showing through. Likes, Hiroshima Mon Amour, strong honest women, long hair.
The Elephant and the Standing Woman reflect each other.
The Giacommetti is made of a strong material, yet it looks weak. It has been battered about. The elephant is really strong but it carries things for us, it has power but it chooses to be gentle. It is a contradiction. A person can change from one way of being to the other, one is a before and one the after.
More collaging photos to come……