Thursday, January 31, 2019

These Are My Subjects

I don’t have any words to speak of. I have scissors and glue but no magazines or printer. I have construction paper. I have motivation. I want to go outside. I also want to make something.

Words are my friends but for a couple of weeks we’ve been on the outs. I don’t want to force anything, so I let it be.

I go outside with three gallon sized Ziploc bags. I walk around collecting leaves. I sort them into color families. I take everything to the screened porch and edit through the leaves. I throw the rejects out into the yard.

If you work right down to the common denominator, as the math teacher used to say, this is the story of my life.

I use a glue stick to tack the leaves onto construction paper. Even though I’ve sorted the leaves, I break my own rules and start mixing them up. These subjects curl up and act differently than my usual collage materials but I don’t mind.

Assembling the three collages

I plan to photograph the leaves on construction paper now, but also let them sit out for days or weeks and shoot them at intervals. It will be fascinating to watch the decomposition process.

I’m excited about my project. I photograph the newly assembled collages. I capture them again a few days later. Something has clearly happened. It is worth recording.

Two collages in their newly assembled state.

But as time goes on, the collages lose steam. They don’t gain poignance or character. They look anemic. 

Like lots of things, the collages have a shelf life and a point of diminishing returns. I throw them all out. They had their glory days, plus a little more. Just because they didn’t have a more beautiful death doesn’t mean it wasn’t all worth it.

I like how these two aged over several days. A few days later they looked old but not good. That’s when I said goodbye to them. There was a third one (unshown) that only looked good on the first day. 

From the archives:
An Adulterated Icon 
They Create: The Lego Artistry of Don Rice

No comments:

Post a Comment