Using Items with History in Your Work

September 18th, 2011

There's something really fabulous about using items that have a history to them in your work. I feel like it gives a certain depth to a piece of art, a layering of stories. Sometimes the stories are so juicy that I have trouble covering them up! In Roots (above), I made use of a fun "Today's Woman" magazine from the 50's. The ads from that magazine were pretty interesting!

I've found collage items at flea markets, bought them from people online, and found them amongst my own stash of papers. They may be blueprints, dress patterns, handwritten recipes, maps, or old photos. Collaged together, their stories combine to tell a new tale, one which I might not expect when I start putting them together. In What's Behind (above), it felt like the story created was one the woman in the painting is trying to leave behind her.

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And an added bonus is if you prefer keeping your life or history private you can adopt and use other people’s nostalgia to create your own fantasy histories or to fill in the gaps of your own that you don’t have memorbelia or memories from. Plus it’s recycling which is always good. :)

I really like these – the “layers” are just right; your own work is more obvious but we can see the shadow of the past through it.

These are awesome collages ~ what a great idea! ~ Enjoy today ~ namaste, Carol ( A Creative Harbor and Share the Creative Journey ~ ^_^

Love these Leah, especially Roots, I also love reusing found items they always tell a wonderful story!

Very interesting! Sometimes I feel like I need to do the materials justice… but sometimes I can’t really relate it necessarily and it might feel random. Not sure if we really need to justify so much why we do things…I certainly go into the over analysis mode at times…yikes! Your work is always lovely, thanks for sharing your thoughts…

I so agree! I feel like I can carry on others’ stories through my art. One of my favorite treasures to find is a postcard or letter written ages ago. Getting a glimpse of a relationship from generations past feels like eavesdropping – gives me goosebumps!

Fabulous collage work. I’m especially in love with the first one – it seems so full of passion & inspiration!

Kat Xx

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