Visualising an Interiority: A Self-Reflexive Process of Collage

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 10:30 AM
Room: 417
Oral Presentation
Alison BELL , Post-graduate Student, Ayr, Scotland

I propose a self-reflexive case study of a synthesis of the thinking through making, as an artist exploring her own ageing process and searching for a method of inquiry through creative practice which merges the making and the textual. Collage appears to offer versatility as it allows one to express subjective experience through reflexivity and its intrinsic multiple interpretations of the ‘image’.

 ‘Collage’ is derived from the French word, coller, to stick, a familiar cut and paste process going back 1000 years to when Japanese calligraphers used torn bits of paper to embellish their written texts. More recently, it could be said to have paved the way for Postmodernism, which is itself almost ‘collage-like’ in that it disrupts our sense of reality and the generally understood aesthetic unity of things by reflecting the way we see the world, with objects being given meaning not from something within themselves, but through the way we perceive how they stand in relationship to one another. It does not preclude conventional ‘artistic skill’ but it does encourage creative exploration; therein rests its inherent attraction for artist/researchers as it offers the gift of multiple voices.

This study investigates the subjective experience of ageing through the gaze of an older woman artist, viewing her own transitioning, relinquishing and becoming, where the self is both subject and object, examining the inter-subjectivity of the micro within the macro. Working within the comparative safety net of generated images rather than articulating through the sometimes unforgiving precision of words, this paper illustrates the advantages and pitfalls of how collage might help untangle the complex and frequently unresolved inherent emotions.