Collage needs no explanation it’s a collection of images all put together with the help of scissors, glue, paper and magazines. Those images however can offer us great insights or help us release emotions. I have to begin with the unusual confession that collage has never appealed to me. I think part of the fear comes from a blank piece of paper and the rest from the reminder that I wasn’t allowed to do art at school because I couldn’t draw.
That all changed one night at circle when we were invited to collage on a small piece of paper using only one magazine and a timeframe of ten minutes. Ta-da – my first ever collage at age 45! I can’t remember if I was proud enough with the end results to take it home and put it on the fridge!
I now look on collaging as a regular practise, a way of working I use again and again for whatever needs to be expressed. It’s an invitation to play with the language of images, arrange words, to use color or play with symbols. It is a way of making sense of things, of mapping emotions and feelings when you might not quite know exactly what is going on. This collage project offers the format of a small area to work on and what better form than a woman with raised arms in an ancient gesture of honoring.
Wheel of the Year
I follow the Wheel of the Year, honoring the insights, the language and gestures this ancient way of looking at both the world and ourselves offers. The Wheel is the cycling of seasons through eight festivals or holy days made up from four pre-Celtic and four Celtic festivals. Each place on the wheel marks what is happening in the land and can offer us a psychology into ourselves. It can also give us insights into the particular Goddesses and energies at play at the particular time of year and know that in one form or another women have observed the wheel for generations going back to our earliest foremothers.
Collage is fun, you need very little materials, it’s quick and it’s amazing how it can give us a new insight into a situation that we keep repeating. There are no rules or a right or wrong way to approach collaging. We can use it to record impressions from guided meditations and journeys between the worlds and we can step back and try and make meaning from it. We can ask ourselves can we see a story emerging or gain an insight into what we’ve created.
We can use the Goddess template to color on, to assemble word collages, to write on for any insight or process we’d like to bring into sacredness.
Gathering Your materials
Basic Materials are card, scissors, glue stick, paper or card and magazines
Optional Materials – needle & thread, buttons, pendants, yarn, beads. Printed images or text or photos.
Step 1. Intention
What is your intention for creating your collage? Maybe it is part of a morning meditation, a reflection of where you are on the Wheel of the Year, a divination, recording impressions from a guided meditation or getting to know a Goddess. One option is to begin your collage by writing some words around your intention on the card, no one will see it as your going to cover it with images yet they will remain at the heart of your creation.
Step 2. Collage Template
Print out the template onto white card or onto white paper. Draw around a paper template if you wish to use black card. I prefer to use card so the collage is thicker.
Step 3. Images
Gather your magazine images or print out specific images you wish to use. You could cover the body in one or two large images which then act as a canvas to add on other images. Glue on your images then turn over your collage over to the back and cut off the overhanging excess paper – or don’t whatever looks best to you!
Step 4. Embellishment
You might wish to add on some words which are resonating with you right now. You might find there words in magazines or you could print our specific words. You may wish to add on a face – a polymer clay face, a printed out image or sew on a pendant. Another option is to add some strands of yarn for hair which can be secured at the back of the head with sellotape.
Step 5. Reflection
Do nothing, just sit back and look at your creation. Don’t critique it just look at the images you used. Whatever your intention consider how your images go together – what story is it telling you? What is it telling you about yourself? Try not to judge it, i you really don’t like it there is no need to keep it although the dislike reaction might be telling you something. You could write a little of your insight on the back of the card, or give it a title as well as dating it. It can also be fun to enjoy the process and just rip it up when you’re finished.
I like to write about my collage as that’s when I start to see the story.
Around the Wheel
I enjoy keeping my collages, not all of them but you’ll know the ones which have special meaning. One way to store them is to hang them up as pictured above which is a great way to travel the Wheel or you could store them in a special box or folder.