Virtual Collage Club
The Virtual Collage Club began at the height of lockdown, 2 months ago, to provide a creative outlet for people shut at home. As we are all aware, at the beginning of lockdown there was a lot of fear amongst all the upheaval. I had a great fear for the mental well-being of many people that may have lost hobbies and things they love to do that would normally keep them stable. I felt really lucky being a collage artist, able to draw upon any odd bits of paper around me, and wanted to encourage others to be creative while isolated. There has been a building sense of togetherness and a real joy and excitement from seeing the new collages that are sent in.
There have been weekly Collage Packs which provide image resources for people to play with. The idea was to create a community through shared images and it has been a way to share in a time when contact was limited to the essentials. There have been themes such as nature, mythical creatures and techy-things. What has been really beautiful, is seeing the range of work created from mostly the same images. I have loved being continually surprised and inspired by what people are sending in.
As a little pit-stop-joy, Oh Mr James, a Cornwall-bound musician has created a celebration track for the community. The music video for this track sees the community’s collages being animated and doing a collective dance!
To get involved visit www.virtualcollageclub.com where you can download a Collage Pack. You can also keep in touch with what we’re up to via Instagram: @virtual_collage_club
Thoughts and reflections on collage from Community Members:
DASHA BRIAN - @dashabrian
My name is Dasha Brian and I am a video creator. Currently I am working with video collages. The main idea of it is to show the changing of context of a well-known painting by adding a video fragment to it. All video examples that you see in my works are directed and curated by me, but they are all shot by people from different parts of the world.
The situation with lockdown showed me that you the only real instrument that you have as an artist is your creativity. We always think that tomorrow will be a better time to do something but now we can see that everything can change in one minute, so we shouldn't postpone our plans. We should create art even when the conditions are weird or uncomfortable.
I like collages because you create your own Universe, you can mix different styles, forms and textures. Collages are the best field for experiments and I really enjoy playing with them.
CHARLOTTE HAMPSHAW - @char_hampshaw
My name is Charlotte Hampshaw and collaging has been a very cathartic process during the lockdown. Usually, my favourite creative outlet is poetry and creative writing but at the beginning of lockdown I found I had no inspiration; I think it was most likely the pressure of uninterrupted time which made my mind blank and procrastinate. I was following Virtual Collage Club and decided to get involved for some healthy, creative escapism.
I’m fairly new to collaging and absolutely loved it, my approach was quite impulsive and enthused but it felt as though I was curating/ directing lots of creative tangents and strands of thought, juxtaposing images and channelling ideas into new forms. I wrote a poem to accompany my collage as creating the piece enabled me to confront colour, texture, fabric, themes, concepts of body which informed my writing. The poem below is about waiting for inspiration by the window and the voice of the wind. Thank you to Jess Pemberton for organising and directing such an inclusive creative space!
All arms and shallow time
the window holds my head
the sun simpers finely
through the glass
and speaks to the wind
outdoors, I love your violent movement
and stirring calm/in rain or storm.
The people wait for you
said the sun
they yearn for my pale light
and summer shadow
but it is the voice of the wind
that steals their breath
and leaves them waiting by the window.
ANNA KRECISZ - @lanicollage
I believe that collage process unleash creativity and bring focus to use parts of different mediums and reshape their purpose.
IRENA OXENHAM - @amalgamglass
Doing collage was something completely new to me. The theme about people and general situation we found ourselves with corona virus gave me inspiration for my collage, I found it to be great fun and I didn’t have much problem assembling my piece. It seems that the key is just to start and suddenly you find yourself making some sense on a piece of paper which is starting to tell the story. For me, it was therapeutic as well. Well done Virtual Collage Club for a great idea to give us opportunity to give collaging a go.
JESS PEMBERTON - @jess_pemberton
Collage is about bringing together things that might not obviously fit but somehow do and, as a consequence, transcend the meaning of the original pieces. In my practice it is a way of finding peace – I feel peaceful from making sense of the images in front of me and by getting into a meditative state, my subconscious makes sense of my internal world. Collage is messy, Collage is primal, Collage is everyday activism.
SUE from London
Before finding the virtual collage club, the last time I made a collage was at school, which is over 30 years ago. I don't consider myself a very creative or arty person but the way collaging was explained in the intro video I realised that 'collage is perfect if you want to be creative but are not sure how'. So I played around with the collage pack on a sheet of paper until I was happy. Then I stuck it down.
I found collaging to be simple, enjoyable and therapeutic. I was able to be mindful and just focus on the shapes in front of me rather than thinking about lockdown. I now love collage.
ANNA YOUNG - @satiricalneeds / @annasthetic
Expression, chaos and colour are words to represent what collage means to me and my practise. A way of creating with the materials that already surround us, collage can help us see the truth in fantasy. The particular work shown is a play on our desire to touch, feel and be surrounded by not only our loved ones but our community, especially in the current pandemic. The aim of my work is to influence discussion about the things happening around us.