Wednesday, September 17, 2008

collage bound

I've been cleaning up my studio in preparation for a studio tour I'm participating in at the end of september and I've come across a few pieces and scraps of things I did awhile back. When I found this collage, I immediately thought of robyn at art propelled and her current collage journey. I took a look at my piece through new eyes.

I remember exactly when I did it. I was the executive director of an adult literacy organization and I was attending a conference given by the institute in management and community development at concordia university in montreal. They offered a plethora of workshops and I probably should have signed up for a workshop on fundraising or leadership or capacity building or some other management topic but, of course, I signed up for a workshop titled: tapping into the creative process.

I remember that I really enjoyed the workshop because we were given a lot of time to just sit and work away. No pressure. We were encouraged to choose our images intuitively.

These are the images I chose. I didn't think too much. Just clipped out the ones that spoke to me on a gut level. After I had chosen my images, I took a look and saw that a theme had emerged. I added the word "bound" at that point. I purposely chose a word that had two meanings: bound-restrained-obligated and bound-going forth-towards a destination.

It was quite obvious to me at the time what the collage meant. I was feeling very stressed in my job. Close to burn-out. More and more administration and less and less hands-on activities with students and volunteer tutors. Lack of control. Burdened.

But what has surprised me as I look at this collage with fresh eyes, is the other side of the "bound" coin. That I was bound towards a direction. Within a year of making this collage, I left that organization and soon after, followed my heart into art. One wonders if doing that collage nourished some seeds that had been planted. Hmmm.....


Joanna said...

The most amazing thing about collage is how the subconscious peeks through the layers. When making art intuitively, we can really learn a lot about ourselves. Do more!

Anonymous said...

Kate, I see
A window to look out of.
A path towards a place.
A lot of weight being carried up a hill.
An animal swimming freely.
Time moving on and in someone's hand,
A tool.
Is that a bone in the middle?
Gosh - it all figures to me!

Jeane said...

Kate - I'm going to guess that this piece was an unconscious step in your turning point to choose art - I truly believe that if we allow ourselves to work 'intuitively', the work will speak volumnes - I never question what a piece is about when I'M working - it always amazes me when people comment about what they see in my work - most of the time it would never occur to me to see what they see- I'm just doing it....

please sir said...

That's a neat way to look at it. Congrats on the studio tour!

Robyn said...

It's so interesting seeing your collage especially after having done a few myself and as Joanna says, it's amazing to see "how the subconscious peeks through the layers."

Wayfaring Wanderer said...

Maybe I need to get my collage that I can gain some clarity :o)

lynne h said...

hi kate! ooohhhh, your collage speaks to me! i think the image that strikes me most is the path through the trees. but of course you'd take this path!!

you and robyn are certainly talented at this! i'm going to sign up for the class she's taking. are you considering it? it just looks so inviting -- like something one can easily get lost in (like i need something else).

kate said...

joanna...that's what I love most about collage. Well said about the subconscious "peeking through the layers". I like that. true jo form, you have broken down this collage into its essential elements. And yes, it makes perfect sense! Thank you.

jeane...I know what you mean about not thinking about what your art means as you are making it. My work definitely has themes, but I don't identify those themes or the meaning until after they are made. And I love it when others see different things in the pieces! Things I hadn't even considered.

please sir..thanks for your wishes!

robyn...I'm looking forward to seeing more of yours. I think I will sign up for the course you are taking. all means, get your collage on! I think you'd have a lot of fun and gain some clarity at the same time! Sign up for the course! The link is on robyn's blog.

lynne...I have absolutely no time for the next few weeks but I think I will sign up for the course too. Maybe when things settle down. It can only be helpful!

By the way, it's hard to see in the photo but the trees you are referring to are actually part of an enclosure. I think trees were cut and used as posts and then strung with barbed wire. It's also enclosed above with wire but that bit was cropped out when I took the photo. The trees are part of a "cage" but still retain their "tree-ness". Some of them even have small green leaves still growing from them. Hope in a hopeless situation.

lynne h said...

kate, i'm just getting back to read your response... a tree cage, huh? yes, i'd say that does represent hope in a hopeless situation. i must say i like the path idea better ... ; )

kate said... too!

rivergardenstudio said...

What a great story, and how it led to your world now of art. Thank you for sharing this great collage... Roxanne

Anne-Laure said...

I'm glad to have come across you! It's not often to find someone who is so close to home.
It's great when you can learn about yourself - your deeper desires or preoccupations, and have them brought to the surface and then waits for your more "rational" side to catch up.

Shayla said...

Wonderful inspiring insights, Kate. Funny how discomfort can get us moving in the right direction.

Jo said...

Oh Kate...I can't believe the connection I have with you.
I too was a Community Development worker...feeling very similar to what you were feeling "bound"...loving my womens and childrens group participants and activities, but so frustrated with the political side of the organisation.
I turned to my art, and haven't looked back since!
Oh look at your collage...the hand holding time...loaded up and slowly walking up a hill, contemplative shadow in a window of hope...Kate, how wonderful you made the decision
to follow your intuition into an art life....