Option 3 – Collage and Text
5.4 ‘Found’ text
From your found material (magazine or newspaper), cut out squares and rectangles containing single words or letters…and short phrases. Play with the rectangles using your painted sheet as a base. Use the strips and squares as though they were drawn lines.
I tried out lots of different arrangements, thinking about using the words and phrases as though they are drawn lines and marks on the page. All of the cuttings are based around the theme of sexism and social conditioning of females by the media. I looked at how the ‘lines’ of text worked with or against the shapes and lines and colours of the background. Once I was happy with the composition I glued the cuttings down with PVa glue and left it to dry.
Unfortunately one of my favourite cuttings, ‘am I nothing without him’, got stuck to some paper I’d put on top of the drawing before it was dry. I decided to incorporate this into part of the theme of the problem with what the media tells females they should be thinking. I re-wrote ‘nothing’ over the top, then both crossed this out and later circled the cutting to portray the contradicting and conflicting feelings these sorts of words invoke in girls and women. I also drew a heart pattern in a style I might have doodled when I was younger, when I used to read magazines telling me how a girl ‘should’ think and feel. I outlined the word ‘display’ in thick but dark brown felt tip pen to highlight it but do so subtly. At this point I stood back and thought about the shapes and colours within the composition and chose soft pastels in strong reds and oranges to take charge of the use of the words I’d chosen. I thought about the marks I’ve used during the foundation course and made repetitive marks to form patterns, and long and short lines over the drawing, thinking all the while about both keeping the composition balanced and interesting. I repeated thick brown blocks with paint along the top and bottom of the drawing to form a sort of border to help pull the composition together, and drew with red pastel within the blocks to echo the colours in the rest of the drawing. I kept stopping and looking at the composition as a whole to see what I could do to improve it, and kept adding more marks in each section of background colour. The final marks I made were lines crossing through most of the cuttings, including the empowering phrase ‘the power to change the world’, to show again the conflict in my feelings about media’s portrayal and conditioning of females, and resulting insecurities.
I’m quite pleased with how the final piece turned out, but reflecting back on it I could have possibly made improvements if I had more cuttings to work with. I could have layered cuttings over the top and then added more marks over this.