Are you boring yourself scrolling, texting, looking at screens? Do you find it hard to switch off after at the end of your day? Are you looking for a very easy, cheap, fun way to enjoy crafting with your kids, siblings, colleagues? Do you want to release your inner artist but struggle with drawing or painting?

Then you need to  DO SOME COLLAGING!

This is exactly what the Borough Belles did together at our October meeting under the guidance of Steph from The London Collage Club and it reminded us, once again, how good it feels to do something creative your hands.

The beauty of collage is in its simplicity and accessibility.  A collage can be made with the most basic supplies. However, Steph did say that she now has collected boxes and boxes of ‘collage materials’ in her studio, so a top tip from me would be to start collecting visuals from magazine pages, packaging, scrap paper, text from newspapers in your day to day life.

Our evening of collaging started with a task Steph calls ‘five minute faces’, which was where we all selected someone else in the group to make do a five minute collage portrait of them. Five minutes went very quickly but ultimately this was a ‘warm up’ exercise for the group and it worked very well as we all made a face. Some of which, mine included, were certainly in the style of ‘clown-Frankenstein-Mr potato head’  but a couple of the portraits I was truly impressed by the delicacy and life-like style of the collage achieved. #impressed

Following on from the five minute faces, we began the main brief of the evening, which Steph explained as collage via ‘deconstruction’. She showed us some examples of her own ‘deconstructed collages’ and those of some artists she admired. Steph then explained that the idea is to take an existing image and break it up into ‘sections’ by separating up the parts that make up the total image. Then once you have ‘deconstructed’ the image you can start to lay it back down on the page in a totally new way. This can be done with layering or tessellating pieces or adding completely new pieces into the puzzle . It’s a simple but effective way to challenge yourself and make you consider each piece and its placement in your collage. Having said that, for me, it still felt free and experimental. Steph also showed us a clever way to ‘weave’ with strips of images to make a woven collage, which a few Belles tried out to great success. At the end of the 45minute session we did some ‘show and tell’ which brought celebration, laughter and some curious insight into the inner minds of the Borough Belles!

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