2019 - 2020 // GSA
Site, Allander St - Barloch St
Collage and montage involve combining fragments of images, objects, textures and other material into a new entity or image, which intern reveals new information about the individual parts. In the book Collage in Architecture, by Jennifer Shields, Juhani Pallasmaa sees the role of architecture much like that of collage. Together buildings, structures and apertures become the setting for an ever-changing collage of textures, materials, objects, furnishings, people and forms, all curated by the designer or architect and assembled by the builder and user.
Collage and Constructivism
This particular piece used collage as a vehicle to ‘construct’ a completely new order. The series takes inspiration from the works of Kazimir Malevich and El Lissitzky. Both artists, part of the Russian Constructivism movement (1919-34) engineered their works by ordering the materials, colours and forms scientifically and objectively to produce art that reflected the rationality of manufactured objects. I enjoyed the formality of constructivist collages and how the artists built up layers of precisely cut forms, lines and images, which they intersected in very strictly composition.
I started with a photograph of the space and then drew over the image, borrowing shapes, lines and sequences from within the photograph. Once the image was removed this created an illustration in itself. The final step involved manipulating the individual elements through tectonic assembly to create a new composition of abstract geometric forms.
The initial aim of the ‘joiner’ style collages was to capture movement and time.
By stitching together multiple images layers of time were added to the photographic moment. The flowing series of images is the next step in this process. After constructing a new whole (collage), I then broke down the image to digest the information piece by piece; layer by layer.
Methodology: The first thing I looked at was colour. Working in photoshop I used the colour selection tool to isolate various colour ranges (blacks, greens, reds, blues etc). This quickly highlighted particular points in the field (materials, vegetation etc), which once separated deconstructed the image into multiple layers. Once in isolate the visibility, opacity and order of these layers could be altered, abstracting the image, which by virtue caused me to look closer at each detail.
The other points I focused on and separated was the rubbish littered throughout the site and the red brick walls, which brake up and define the space.
Individually the layers were quite beautiful, revealing moments and details that go unnoticed in the complete image.
As part of the site analysis and to investigate the different aspects, features and objects defining the space I collected found objects (rubbish) from the site.
After collecting the items, I individually photographed them in their current state, before cleaning and rephotographing them.
The accumulation of rubbish is a big part of the character of the site, giving an indication to the type of people using the space but also how they use it. For this reason, I wanted to collect and document these discarded objects in some way.
To build an accurate document of the accumulated rubbish I wanted to collect a wide range of items. Not taking everything and only sampling the rubbish littering the carpark, I developed a selection criterion to justify the inclusion or exclusion of any item.
- Small enough to fit inside a 10x10 cm cube.
- One of every type of time found.
- Found alongside the west wall of the site.
These strict criteria meant I could arrive at a more transparent, robust and explicit outcome. Following a logical structure also allows for analysis of the process and outcome