Frequently Asked Questions
Collage: from the French coller (in English "paste")
Collage is an artistic technique that consists of creating images by joining pieces or cutouts from different sources. Its origins date back to 10th-century Japanese poets and calligraphers who used delicate cutouts of animals and landscapes to recreate and embellish the scenes they wrote. Also, there is evidence that in 13th-century Persia and in 16th-century Turkey, cuttings and elements of the collage technique were incorporated in the production of books and texts for decorative purposes. Approximately a century later, in Western Europe, women in the aristocracy spent their free time venturing into the art of collage using various materials and elements such as seeds, feathers, cloth, plants, and stuffed butterflies.
The arrival of the industrial revolution and the mass production of printed products stimulated the popularization and development of collage. Since then, this technique has been used by numerous artistic trends, especially by the avant-garde of the early twentieth century: Futurism, Cubism, Dadaism, and Surrealism. Today, collage is typical of the plastic arts, but it is also possible to use its principles in music, photography, cinema, literature and any other creative medium. In the case of the plastic arts, we use as raw materials for collage-making magazines, photographs, illustrations, newspapers, advertising flyers, and all kinds of everyday objects that would otherwise end up in the dump.
That is why, at Joy Collage, in addition to using collage as a means of creative expression, we also use it as a means of recycling objects and paper, thus contributing to the generation of less waste and more beauty and art in the world. On the other hand, collage not only contributes to the recycling of physical products, but the creative process of collage also involves a process of cultural renewal of pre-established stereotypes, beliefs, and meanings, while conventional images are taken out of their original context and transformed into something completely new and of personal value. Additionally, at Joy Collage we associate our collage practice with alchemy since both activities require a psychological involvement with materials and the creative process, during which unconscious elements are made accessible to consciousness through intuitive work with images.
Collage has been a medium used throughout history in different ways and for different purposes. In the case of Joy Collage, we have found that this technique turns out to be a friendly medium for those who do not feel skillful in the field of arts and crafts since the images are already made, the materials are easy to obtain, and it only takes a good guidance to get started. In contrast, for people versed in the arts, the collage technique turns out to be an excellent complement to the creative work, since it is a resource that contributes to the inspiration, visualization, and concretion of ideas, facilitating the distension of creative blocks. For researchers in the social sciences and the humanities, it is an innovative tool applicable to all phases of the research process, from the design of the project to the collection, analysis, and presentation of information. For therapists and people who work with communities, it is very useful in working with situations and emotions that are difficult to verbalize and facilitates the visualization and concretion of collective action strategies.
All in all, like paper, collage is a malleable medium, and therefore its techniques can be adapted to various contexts and applied for multiple purposes. It is an accessible and fun medium, in which the game with images gently turns into a meditative state of unlimited creation and expression.