There were many workshops organised by the course but they were open to all year groups and due to limited spaces in each workshop they filled up extremely fast. I was only able to get a space on the children’s-book illustration workshop and didn’t manage to get a spot in the image making ones. So instead I created a workshop of my own using magazines, newspapers, paper, card, tissue paper, glue, and tape.
I also have a book called “The Collage Workbook” (2012) which I used as a helpful guide. The book discusses many important aspects relating to designing effective collages. Some of the most noteworthy information included paying attention to the ‘rule of thirds’ where you are encouraged to section the image into thirds, with the main subject being placed where the lines of the 2/3rds intersect. Another ‘centre-rule’ states that the main subject should be slightly off-centre, unless you are trying to achieve a symmetrical composition. It’s also worth thinking of the collage as having three layers: foreground, middle ground, and background. In collages, the background is often used for blocks of colour or patterned paper. The middle ground could include tracing paper, coloured tissue paper or other transparent material, allowing some of the background material to show through. Lastly, the subject makes up the foreground which helps to complete the collage.
In the first collage I placed my main subject off-centre in order to create the ideal focal point of the collage. ‘The Collage Workbook’ states that “The eye is naturally inclined to settle on a point to the right and slightly above centre of any two-dimensional image.” With the book “Girl, Woman, Other” in mind, I found a black woman in one of the magazines that I used to resemble the characters of the book. I placed blocks of colour in the background using complimentary colours to create an attention-grabbing visual.
In the second collage I was experimenting using more abstract shapes through patterned and transparent paper. The idea for this collage was based on all of the connections between characters that developed from one main character placed at the front, resembling Amma who was the first characters perspective we placed ourselves into in the book. I used two-dimensional shapes and different textures that built up different layers of my collage.
In the last collage I attempted to create an abstract image in a short amount of time. Not spending too much time overthinking the shapes or placements of each paper, the result ended up intuitive and interesting. I went through my magazines and papers and selected imagery that caught my eye: tracing paper, textured card, tissue paper, and coloured paper. Once I had enough to work with I set a five minute timer in which I focused on keeping my hands moving through picking colours, arranging them, and then glueing them down. I specifically focused on using analogous colours, which are adjacent to one another on the colour wheel. This allowed me to create a sense of colour harmony that has a warm presence to it due to featuring colours such as reds and oranges. I tried to create balance within the piece by adding neutral colours into it including beige, brown, and transparent colours. The transparent paper and patterned card also created balance between the piece through its use of different textures.