Collage made its way into my life about a year and a half ago. I almost played no active role in the creation of the first few pieces. I was unwell and tired, the world made little sense. A magazine, a pair of scissors and a stick of glue happened to be on my desk one day. And before I knew it, a little new world was cut out and glued together in front of me. It was a whimsical awkward universe full of strange characters, a universe that made sense only to me. But I felt different, hopeful, more powerful, more in control.
I wanted to share this newly discovered power with an old friend.
“I have this new thing, – I said. – I started making collages.”
“What’s new about that? – she wondered. – You’ve been making collages as long as I know you…”
Sometimes, our “sisters” know us and our creative processes better than we do… Sometimes those processes just gently happen to us over and over again, growing stronger and more present when we need them most…
There is no precise method or procedure to my making. All is intuitive and fluid. I browse for characters and textures through found paper sources – magazines, leaflets, catalogues, brochures. Sometimes there is a theme or a question to this search, other times the search is an attempt of escape. Words play a fundamental role. Most of the times, these collages turn out to be also multilingual rants, or poems. I often look at the outcome and it stares back at me with a profound question written all over it. “How big is the galaxy lovemobil?” is a question I ended up with in the end of one of my collage sessions. It became the title of this whole series of work.
Although it may sound like a very introverted process, collaging can very well be a socially engaged practice. This year I had the honour and the pleasure to collage with friends and strangers, children and very elderly people, and I hope to continue exploring this direction.
It has been also an honour and a pleasure to share my work as a part of “Have you met my sister” exhibition. My fragile paper heroines happily tell their stories and join the polyphonic narratives of womanhood, isolation, belonging and love(mobil).
By Daria Akimenko