Collage and Poetry
In May of last year, I took a class at Weehawken Arts in Ridgway. The class, taught by the tandem muses Meredith Nemirov and Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, combined the aspects of collage and poetry. Rosemerry is the poet, Meredith is the fine artist; in this case collage.
We read poetry, wrote poetry, discussed poetry, and produced poems with varying themes and inspiration. Collage evolved from the poetry, or inspired poetry. There was a myriad of ideas and paths to explore.
Ekphrastic poetry describes a work of visual art—a painting, a dance, a musical piece. We were encouraged to explore. Rosemerry talked about the use of a variety of images and themes in one piece. We made lists. We wrote.
Meredith, a very fine painter, kept the themes of collage in the context of something like Haiku—the short direct embodiment of the visual. Her examples had depth, made statements, explored.
Collage is the form of visual art using the French term coller, which translates literally to mean ‘to glue.’ Collage then is the art of taking pieces of paper, fabric, etc., to create an art work by gluing them down. From one piece we had written, we did a collage to illustrate the theme, From another artist’s collage we took an element and expanded upon it.
One of the examples Meredith shared was to take an old deck of playing cards and create a collage a day. Of course, daily poems were also suggested. These, and other exercises, opened the doors and windows to a whole new type of journaling.
I bought a deck of playing cards. I painted both sides with Gesso. At the little desk in my bedroom I lined up a shoebox with different papers folded and filed by color. I added baggies of string, seeds, grasses, bark, and feathers. My sketchbook is nearby. I use Elmer’s glue, a pair of small pincers, or tweezers, some cellophane, or plastic envelopes, to place under (and over) my work—to keep the glue where it belongs, and a variety of pens, pencils, and paints.
My goal was to do a collage a day.
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