I have been collaging for a long time now. I find that, whenever I feel ‘wobbly’ or need to process a session that I have engaged in, a collage does it faster than any conversation. It seems to work on the story underneath the story. This time of year is a good time to collage. We are moving quickly in the festive world, and it is a way of slowing our thinking down and tapping into our reflective selves. I like to work standing up, with a pile of magazines or a pile of images that I have collected throughout the year. A glue stick. No scissors necessarily, though some images demand it.
This time I had Elvis accompany me. Choose whatever music inspires you. And begin to ‘rip and stick’. I work fast, allowing my fingers to sort the images rather than my mind (to as large degree as possible). Some days the whole sheet ends up covered with images. It is always interesting to reflect on the in-between spaces, the white spaces between the images and the relationship between one image and another:
Once complete, I pin it to the wall so I can observe it up close and far away. I pin it with recent and not so recent collages so I can see the changes over time. I read out the text that has been stuck on the page, playing with the volume of the voice and the order of the words. I move the text and images on the floor (thats why you need space) because out of the movement can come an understanding that the intellect may not readily access. I then leave the collage up for as long as it demands. I find that things shift without long involved talking. Things shift despite ourselves.
Thank you Elvis…this activity, for me, is a moment of mindfulness. A moment of reflection in what is usually a fast-moving day for all of us.