Collage is a fun and easy art form that is often used with children, and in workshops that want a creative activity that needs a minimum of supplies and is not anxiety producing for participants who think they aren’t artistic.
I haven’t learned to make fine art using collage yet, but I like it for capturing the felt sense of an event.
In 2005, when Katrina devastated New Orleans, it was more than
damaged buildings and homes. It ripped the Band-Aid off the festering sore of poverty in our nation. I made a collage of newspaper and magazine clips, quotes, and photos to show that many people had no resources to leave the area, had no way to help themselves, and that public officials had not considered what would be needed for people who had been waiting for decades to receive assistance that had been promised by various government programs.
Making collage about political and community issues doesn’t solve problems or make things better. But it can capture the feeling of the impact of events and raise awareness of issues and conditions that are easily forgotten when the front-page news moves on.
Two years later I drove through New Orleans, Mississippi, and Alabama along the coast and observed piles of debris that were never removed, empty streets where homes were not rebuilt. It was disappointing to see that little had been done.
Collage is an art form I hope to do more of in the future—but not about horrific events.
How do you use collage?