The Northwest Collage Society 2015 Spring Show: Adornment
Bellevue Art Museum, Community Education Gallery
March 20-June 28, 2015
Opening reception Saturday, March 21, 4-6PM
Four members of the Surface Design Association have art in this show.
The challenge of working with the theme Adornment was intriguing and the limitation on format was also interesting.
I started this piece with two additional things in mind: 1) I was interested in the collage work of Paul Horiuchi and this gave me an opportunity to take the time to study his approach to the medium a bit and 2) I wanted to break up the space so that it would be a little less square looking. From there I was in the usual loop: Do something and then do something else!
I ended up bringing a little Jackson Pollock into the mix when I needed to enliven the heavily textured white background paper, and a little Seminole patchwork to create the herringbone twill suit material. Some window screen to provide textural contrast while still evoking woven fabric. Paper I had painted nearly 10 years ago provided the brooch. After a while it felt done.
I did not want to follow an emblematic interpretation of adornment. I thought of the crafting of words I enjoy in novels—the ways authors use words from another reference to create a vivid image. I thought of ways we might see adornment in nature—the bark adorns the tree, birds adorn the beach, trees adorn river banks.I quickly found that I could not implement my ideas without some technical help. The limbs on the smallest of the trees in “Relentless March” were only a couple of millimeters in width. In “SilentDance”, the tree limbs needed to have craggy curves that would have been impossible for me to produce with my tools. I had heard about Jesse Card of Zot Lasers at a Seattle SDA meeting. Jesse has a business producing laser cuts into a variety of substances. I provided him with my digital designs and he produced the pieces on specialty paper.
In my third piece “Convergence”, I used my favorite collage material—tissue paper to hint at bird forms.
I had been working on two other collages on the required 12×12 cradle board for the show at BAM. All the while this suit with a pin kept looming over me. I had seen a show in Phoenix, Arizona last year that inspired my direction for this piece. My dilemma, what do I use as the suit? Paper? I did not find a paper that spoke to me but since my background has been in clothing and costume design I had lots of fabrics. I found some Ultra suede from years ago (1980’s) and decided the Navy Blue was a perfect choice. Cutting the suit so that it really looked like a suit but was just pieces glued onto a flat, square space was tricky. I have for years collected costume jewelry intact and broken so started playing around with a variety of pieces. I ended up using one intact and one broken then added a feather from a vintage hat laying in my stash of weird things that most people would throw away. I mixed paints for the skin color and added a small piece of lace to soften the look of the neckline. I am thrilled to be in this show at the Bellevue Arts Museum.
I was thrilled to have two collages accepted for this show with Michael Monroe–someone who I have long respected–as the juror. In my piece titled “Never Enough” I used a crow image to express a truth about humans; that we like to collect more treasures than we need and love to adorn ourselves with them. My other piece in the show titled “Discard Chic” was made from an old tank top that I cut, painted and embellished with “jewelry” made from a rusted can lid and other found metal objects. My hope is that people will see the beauty and usefulness of things we normally toss out in our wealthy society.