Collage is an art form that is having a resurgence. Or maybe it never went away? Regardless, it is finding its way back into art galleries and into the practice of some well known Sydney artists. From its early days from the start of the 20th Century, with Picasso and Braque, it has traversed from modernism, satirical, to the decorative and craft. Resting at the tacky flower decoupaged potpourri holder arts in the mid 1990’s.
But collage is a beautiful thing. And it is a very accessible art form to introduce into the classroom, at any stage.
The Sydney Collage Society, established in 2015, is one such group that pushes the boundaries of the cut-and-paste. A group exhibition, titled Cut It Out!, (at Low Road Garage in Paddington) was a complete mix up of different collage techniques to show many different ways the art form can be applied.
Another fantastic artist is Oliver Watts, who makes paper cut works. Inspired from Dadaism, and the French poet Tristian Tzara, Watts creates intricate pictures and the re-telling of stories, all from assembling pieces of cut paper. Watts further explored the genre of collage and paper cuts with his short film, The Sea Hare, 2013, where he re-imagined a fairy tale, based on one by the Brothers Grimm, of a princess in a tower with 12 windows. Placed quite firmly in the cerebral, Watts’ playful works always make you think. And they are always beautiful as well.
My favorite collage creating duo are Greedy Hen. These two awesome ladies have created some wondrous images and landscapes from layering image upon image. The duo are regularly commissioned to create album cover art for bands, and films clips, and posters and even a clip of kittens smashing up instruments for MTV. The works traverse easily to the moving image, and always have a sense of play.