Thursday, September 9, 2010

"My Scissors Took Over"

Today I'm gathering materials for Thrinley's collage workshop on Sunday. As I researched collage on the Internet I paid attention to the materials and the process that collage artists  were using. An article about Hannah Hoch by Michael Kimmelman in the New York Times describes an incident that indicates the critical importance of a good pair of scissors to the art of collage.

"A visitor once described her studio in Heiligensee. In the middle was a big table, nearly invisible beneath cartons of old newspapers, mounds of clippings from magazines and brochures, pots of glue and a pair of scissors. When the visitor reached for the scissors, Hoch reacted more or less the way Heifetz might have if a stranger had suddenly picked up his Stradivarius, which is to say not well, and the scissors were swiftly put back on the table."  

Micheal Kimmelman, New York Times

Self Portrait, Hanna Hoch, Mixed media collage

One of my favorite contemporary collage artists, C. Albert, collected images from magazines into a notebook before she discovered collage making. A notebook remains part of her process. She  says, "I keep a notebook with quick starts of collages using non-permanent double-stick tape. (I highly recommend this type of visual journaling.)" A poet as well as a visual artist, Albert's accompanying poem to her collage, In the Wind of a Sneeze, describes the collage coming together.

in the wind of a sneeze
i wanted to build a house
the way ants do
hauling tiny crumbs
four times their own size
its brick walls would stack neatly

i wanted people inside
but didn't plan on a naked man
and a girl floating
as if to escape

my scissors took over
irregular rectangles fell
bricks sailed
into dizzying alignments
and windows flew away
on the wings of black birds.

copyright C. Albert   First published in Mannequin Envy

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