Collage is a technique of an art production, primarily used in the visual arts, where the artwork is made from an assemblage of different forms, thus creating a new whole.
A collage may sometimes include magazine and newspaper clippings, ribbons, paint, bits of colored or handmade papers, portions of other artwork or texts, photographs and other found objects, glued to a piece of paper or canvas. The origins of collage can be traced back hundreds of years, but this technique made a dramatic reappearance in the early 20th century as an art form of novelty.
The term collage was coined by both Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso in the beginning of the 20th century when collage became a distinctive part of modern art.
For our workshop, we had to select from random a piece of text from a famous song. I had David Bowie’s – Heroes, and the lyrics I had were – ‘though nothing, will drive them away. We can be heroes, just for one day. We can be us, just for one day’. From this piece of text, I thought about what the meanings could be behind his lyrics. I decided to incorporate some war elements into the piece, as this song makes me think of men coming home after a war, saving peoples lives, saving each other, triumphant and romantic.
I decided to take elements of his one of his most iconic outfits and ripped them into pieces and created my background. Looking at books, I found a book – ‘David Bowie is the subject’ – and used text from the book to create a contrast with the imagery. Then I built up on top with his painting of a street, and started to add acrylics to the surface – this to make the piece look rough. After, I then incorporated the iconic lightening bolt from his face onto the piece – half colour half black and white – so he is not the main focus of the piece. On the top layer, I wanted to show more of the heroic side, by layering up images of hands reaching towards another, and soldiers fighting in war. Even though the collage looks messy, the rips and the streaks from the paint represent a person fighting for their life or for their country. And below is my developed piece from his lyrics as an artistic expression.