I've been thinking about this a lot recently. Why I collage.
I'm wrapping up a three month fellowship program and so much of our time has been spent talking and thinking and writing about what we do—and why.
What I do is easy: I make pictures out of pictures.
The process is even easier:
I cut, paste, and repeat.
But the why ... that's been more difficult to nail down.
It seems like every week since the fellowship started, I've had a new angle on an artist statement, a new reason why. But in the end, the only thing I know to be true is this:
The act of collage to me is all about discovery and connection. It's about giving order to a self-created chaos. It's about mental health.
I don't have a set way that I collage. Every piece is different. I have a few preferences (source material usually predates 1960; a human face is rarely left intact or uncovered; and I always cut, never tear).
But that's about it. The rest is about feeling my way through each piece, about the simplicity of and a fascination of paper. It's about sorting through scraps and disparate pieces. It's about pushing on that feeling until something new takes shape.
Sometimes nothing feels right. Sometimes I don't find what I'm looking for (whatever that is). And other times I walk away from my work table with ten newly assembled pieces.
But it doesn't matter if I make something new, only that I showed up and sorted through the debris.
The tactile nature of collage, and the process of cutting and pasting, is therapy.
It's relaxing and it gets me away from a fucking screen and the internet and every other distraction in my life. It's analog and it reclaims a small part of my pre-digital brain.
Also: I'm a kinetic person who abhors idle hands. I need to be doing—and in doing, I often find connections. To people, to things, to ideas. And, in this case, between fragments.
Fragments of thoughts.
And various random scraps of paper.